Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

066-0086 Coan Baptist Church

Coan Baptist Church
Photo credit: Elizabeth Lipford/DHR, 2021

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 01/15/1995

NRHP Listing Date 03/17/1995

NRHP Reference Number 95000239

A well-articulated work of country Neoclassical architecture, the Coan Baptist Church was built in 1846 to serve the growing congregation of what was originally Wicomico Baptist Church, formed in 1804. The congregation’s new church reflects the Baptist revival that swept Tidewater Virginia in the mid-19th century. Under the leadership of Pastor Jeremiah Bell Jeter, the congregation grew dramatically, and it was during his tenure that the Rappahannock Association built its first campground in 1832. When completed, the Coan Baptist Church in Northumberland County, with its seventy-foot sanctuary, was the Northern Neck’s largest church. Its construction was a cooperative effort, with many members of the congregation helping to build. The total cost was $900, a substantial sum in the 1840s. A conspicuous feature of the little-altered interior is the U-shaped gallery which likely accommodated the church’s nearly 200 African American members.

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

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

Updated: November 17, 2021