Virginia State Seal

Virginia Department of Historic Resources

073-0028 Buffalo Presbyterian Church

Buffalo Presbyterian Church
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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 04/28/1995

NRHP Listing Date 04/07/1995

NPS property number 95000395

The very essence of a country church, Buffalo Presbyterian houses a congregation formed in 1739. The present building was erected sometime 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 interior preserves its early wood floors, plank ceiling, paneled box pews, and wood-burning stoves. The 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 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.


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

Updated February 19, 2019