Browntown Baptist Church

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REFLECTION

1873 – Browntown Baptist Church Congregation was organized. Old School Baptist congregations in both Bentonville, VA and Browntown, VA worshiped in union churches owned jointly with New School Baptists, Methodists and Lutherans.

 

1882 – By deed a lot was transferred in Browntown,VA to the trustees of four denominations: Methodist Episcopal South; Evangelical Lutheran Church; New School Baptist Church; Old School Baptist Church. The lot and erection of a building amounted to $50.00 per trustee. (aka as Union Church currently located beside Browntown Community Center). Each denomination was to have one Sunday a month. (1st Old School; 2nd Methodists; 3rd New School; 4th Lutherans). Either of the four denominations could use the church for special meetings that did not conflict with the others. Sunday School could be held but not during regular hours of worship. Any one of the four denominations could sell their share in the building, but it had to be sold to one of the others covered by the agreement.


1897 – The Lutherans purchased land in Browntown, on which a former bar room was located, for $250.00. They moved the bar room to the back of the lot and erected their own church (present site of Browntown Baptist Church). The Methodists soon followed and left the Browntown area. Today only a handful of Old School Baptists use the Union Church located in Browntown.

1926 – Land was donated at Glen Echo (Browntown Road aka Freedom Club) for a union church to be used by the Methodists, Old School Baptists, New School Baptists and Brethren. At this time a new parsonage was purchased in Bentonville, Virginia. Bentonville Baptist purchased half interest and Rileyville Baptist and Browntown Baptist the remaining quarters. (aka as field of three churches)

 

1943 – Browntown Baptist purchased the Lutheran Church building built in 1897 (current home of Browntown Baptist Church) for $1,200.00. Sixteen members of Browntown Baptist Church gathered to approve the purchase. The building was used as is for 10 years. The building that housed the bar room was sold.


1953 – Renovations were made that included a basement with five rooms for Sunday School.

 

1958 – The division of the field of three churches occurred when Rileyville withdrew. Browntown and Bentonville asked for and received from the State Baptist Mission board an additional $1,200/year to aid in the operation of the field. Browntown purchased another quarter interest in the parsonage thus owning the property on a half and half basis with Bentonville.


1964 – Browntown and Bentonville decided to dissolve the field of churches and the two were officially separated. The parsonage in Bentonville was sold.

 

1965 – Purchased a parsonage (unknown location) for $10,000.00 ($7,000 cash + $3,000 loan)

 

1968 - Purchased a 1-acre located by the church (property that was destroyed by fire), for church parking.

 

1970 – A member (Mrs. Annice Rudacille) donated an acre of land on Smith Run Road for a new parsonage. The old parsonage was sold to Cool Spring Church for $10,000.00.

 

1971 – New parsonage was officially dedicated and an open house was held.

 

1973 – A 2-story addition to the original church building was erected. It included rest rooms, office space, choir, dining area and additional classroom space.

 

1980 – Property to the south of the church was acquired

 

1995 – Planned for new fellowship and educational building and set a goal of April 1996 for construction to commence.


2000 - Began using the new fellowship building for Sunday School, Bible study, Vacation Bible School, fellowship meals and many more activities. This building would not have been possible without the help of many volunteers from our community and from across the state of Virginia.


Much of the information above was acquired from Rebecca Poe's Publication, "The First Hundred Years - A History of the Browntown Baptist Church, Browntown, Virginia 1873 - 1973". She was an avid and active member of Browntown Baptist Church who served in many capacities in the church as well as an aspiring writer/editor of the local newspaper.