Methodist Tabernacle

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The Methodists were among the first and most enthusiastic supporters of revivals—special religious events frequently held outdoors and designed to renew and intensify faith. All through the 19th century, revivals grew less spontaneous and more routine and institutionalized. Erected in 1922, Mathews County’s Methodist Tabernacle is one of the state’s few remaining examples of the permanent shelters required as revivals became regularly scheduled occasions. The airy structure is essentially a pavilion and preserves most of its original accoutrements, including speaker’s platform, choir tiers, and “mourners” bench. Well-maintained, the structure is still used for its original purpose. The Methodist Tabernacle is built on the site of an earlier and smaller tabernacle established in 1879. During the Civil War there was a brush arbor here where ladies would gather to pray for sons and husbands in the service of the Confederacy.

Last Updated: June 20, 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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Gwynn’s Island Historic District

Mathews (County)


Mathews Downtown Historic District

Mathews (County)


Light Stations of the United States MPD

(MPD) Multiple Property Document