El Bethel Methodist Church

VLR Listing Date


NRHP Listing Date


NRHP Reference Number


Erected around 1930 on a natural rise, El Bethel Methodist Church in Amherst County is the second church built on the property and was constructed with materials recycled from the earlier circa-1857 church it replaced. One of two remaining public buildings of the once thriving Allwood community, the church is also one of two existing Great Depression-era churches in the county. Combining Classical Revival and Late Gothic Revival stylistic elements, the building’s only alteration since 1930 was a redesign of the pulpit during the 1960s. The building has significant features, including the property’s site design, the building’s temple form with portico, and, on the interior, its barrel-vaulted ceiling and collection of stained-glass windows. The church was used for regular church services until 1989, when its congregation merged with the Mount Pleasant Church and abandoned El Bethel. In 1999, the Pedlar Ruritan Club adopted the building as a community improvement project, and repaired and restored it. The same year, the Methodist Church deeded the property to the El Bethel Community Association, which uses the building for community and special events. Enhancing the site’s historical significance is the Allwood Cemetery, historically associated with, and located behind the church. Containing more than 300 graves, many those of former church members, it is the only active public burial ground in the area. In continuous use since 1899, the cemetery contributes to the El Bethel Methodist Church property’s overall historical significance.

Last Updated: June 2, 2023

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VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

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