Virginia State Seal

Virginia Department of Historic Resources

082-0003 Bethlehem Church

Bethlehem Church
*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 12/16/1980

NRHP Listing Date 06/27/1985

NPS property number 85001414

Built in 1844-45 by the local stonemason Jeremiah Clemens, Bethlehem Church is the oldest stone church in Rockingham County and the second church of a local Quaker meeting. With its rectangular form, gabled roof, lack of ornamentation, and limestone construction, the church reflects the conservative character of the Shenandoah Valley’s mid-19th-century country churches. It also demonstrates the persistence of a strong local masonry tradition in the Linville and Smith Creek areas. The two-door, two-aisle arrangement was a hallmark of country meetinghouses. During the Civil War the church stood in the line of battle in the Valley campaign and served as a hospital. The Quakers merged with the local Christian Church after the Civil War. Regular services ceased to be held in the building in 1952 when a new church was built next door.


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

Updated April 4, 2018