Buffalo Presbyterian Church

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NRHP Listing Date


NRHP Reference Number


The very essence of a country church, Buffalo Presbyterian houses a congregation formed in 1739. The present building was erected sometime around 1804, after the original church burned in 1785. Its plain lines were dictated by the austerity of Calvinist religious practices rather than by economic necessity. The Buffalo Presbyterian Church’s interior preserves its early wood floors, plank ceiling, paneled box pews, and wood-burning stoves. The rural Prince Edward County sanctuary formerly possessed a rear gallery reserved for free African Americans and enslaved blacks, accessible by exterior stairs on either side of the building. The entrance vestibule was added in 1931. During antebellum times Buffalo Presbyterian Church was closely associated with Hampden-Sydney College and Union Theological Seminary. John Holt Rice, founder of the seminary, regularly preached here in the 1820s, and Joseph R. Wilson, father of President Woodrow Wilson, was a visiting minister while on the college faculty.

Last Updated: January 30, 2024

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

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Nomination Form


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