Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

021-0035 Bethel Memorial Church

Bethel Memorial Church
Photo credit: David Edwards/DHR, 2021

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 04/18/1989

NRHP Listing Date 02/07/1991

NRHP Reference Number 89001927

A remarkably unchanged old meetinghouse in a timeless rural setting, Bethel Memorial Church is among Virginia’s many important historic resources that still are essentially unknown to the general public. The Clarke County property on which it stands was the site of a log Quaker meetinghouse. This had fallen into ruin when the Baptists purchased the property in 1808. They built the present church in 1833-36, a work of conspicuous simplicity, conforming to the denomination’s non-conformist character. Of great interest is the interior with its three-sided gallery supported by slender columns on both levels. Stark from the absence of religious symbolism, the room has the flavor of early New England meetinghouses, though recent examinations have revealed evidence of decorative painting. The congregation vacated the building in 1930. It is now owned and maintained by a private foundation and used on special occasions.  The Bethel Memorial Church is located in the Greenway Rural Historic District.

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

Updated: May 11, 2021