“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Singers Glen in Rockingham County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Old Salem Church

Anti-Slavery Congregation in the Confederacy

Old Salem Church Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, March 24, 2018
1. Old Salem Church Marker
This was the only United Brethren Church that the anti-slavery denomination opened within the Confederacy during the Civil War. It was constructed on the northeastern side of Green Hill along Joes Creek northwest of Edom in 1833 as Green Hill Methodist Episcopal Meeting House. In 1863 during the Civil War, local members of the United Brethren in Christ bought the church from the Methodists for $500. The United Brethren moved the building to a rocky field on the Abraham Rolston farm about one-and-a-half miles north of Singers Glen on present-day Turleytown Road. Virginia Bishop J.J. Glossbrenner brought window glass from West Virginia through Federal lines. The relocated building was dedicated on December 27, 1863, as Salem United Brethren in Christ Church. William J. Miller, a local preacher and miller, helped to organize Salem Church.

John W. Howe, the United Brethren preacher assigned to Rockingham County, also helped organize the church and held it together during the war. Hiram Brown (1871-1964), a later owner of the property, was told that soldiers quartered their horses in the church.

Old Salem became the mother
Old Salem Church Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, March 24, 2018
2. Old Salem Church Marker
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church of at least five other United Brethren congregations, including Singers Glen, Cherry Grove, and several churches in the Brocks Gap area. Late in the 1880s, the United Brethren abandoned the deteriorated building. Cooks Creek Presbyterian Church used it as a mission site early in the 1900s. During most of the twentieth century, it served as a barn and stable on the Hiram and Robert Brown farm.

Old Salem Church was dismantled in 2005, moved to this location in Singers Glen, and rebuilt between 2006 and 2008 as a historic chapel for the community.

Part of Rockingham Co., 1864
William J. Miller (born 1829) John W. Howe (1829-1903)
Courtesy Eastern Mennonite University Archives
Old Salem as a horse barn, mid twentieth century - Courtesy John Coffman
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RRChurches & ReligionWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical date for this entry is December 27, 1863.
Location. 38° 33.112′ N, 78° 54.889′ W. Marker is in Singers Glen, Virginia, in Rockingham County. Marker can be reached from Singer
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Glen Road (Virginia Route 613) west of Kieffer Road (Virginia Route 876), on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 9788 Singers Glen Road, Singers Glen VA 22850, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Joseph Funk (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); George Chrisman House (approx. 2.6 miles away); Breneman-Turner Mill (approx. 2.8 miles away); Dr. Jessee Bennett (approx. 3½ miles away); Edom United Methodist Church (approx. 3½ miles away); Mannheim (approx. 3.7 miles away); Baxter House (approx. 4.3 miles away); Lincoln's Virginia Ancestors (approx. 4.4 miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on October 18, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 26, 2018, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 262 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 26, 2018, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.

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Mar. 27, 2023