Constructed in four phases between 1882 and 1955, the Amherst Baptist Church building is no longer owned by a church nor is it used for religious purposes. Nonetheless, it remains a landmark in the Town of Amherst, easily identified by its tall entry tower, and locally important for its vernacular synthesis of popular architectural styles. The 1882 main block, embellished with many Italianate details, was enhanced in 1908 with the Romanesque Revival entry tower. In 1925, a Gothic Revival-style south addition, and a 1955 rear addition expanded the building. These various styles’ picturesque qualities made them popular for ecclesiastical properties throughout rural Virginia and elsewhere during the late 1800s and early 1900s. The building’s interior also employs Colonial Revival-inspired elements such as columns and pediments and molded door and window surrounds on the interior and exterior. The property’s more modestly designed parsonage and garage, both dating to 1949, retain the Colonial Revival style but also exemplify the streamlining and minimal ornamentation that came to characterize post-World War II architecture in Virginia. During Amherst Baptist’s decades as an active church, the nearby Amherst High School and community groups also used the church as an auditorium.
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