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VLR Listing Date 09/23/2021
Located in Fauquier County and the historically Black community of Foxville, St. James Baptist Church and Cemetery traces back to 1866, when formerly enslaved people from the John Fox plantation (located three miles away) formed the first African American congregation in Fauquier. The congregants initially worshipped together under the name Foxville Baptist Church at a bush arbor, until they constructed the first St. James Baptist Church building during the late 1800s. Rev. Leland Warring, a Civil War “contraband” who escaped to Alexandria by 1862, was appointed as the church’s first minister, and later established three more churches in Fauquier and neighboring Culpeper and Loudoun counties. A second church building, replacing the earlier one, was reportedly constructed around 1907 but burned sometime after 1914. The congregation erected the current St. James Church building by 1922, embellishing it with Gothic Revival–style windows and trim. Adjacent to the church, a circa 1922 two-story dining hall also provided meeting space for two Black fraternities. The congregation expanded the main church building in 1972, adding dining and kitchen accommodations, choir and treasury offices, and a choir lounge, restrooms, and pastor’s study. A 1998 structure connects the church building and additions with the dining hall. The church cemetery covers more than 1.22 acres and contains approximately 180 graves, with 1901 as the death date on the earliest markers. St. James Baptist Church and Cemetery continues to serve as a spiritual and social hub for Foxville and Bealeton-area residents and community.
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark
Updated: September 23, 2021