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Stevensburg in Culpeper County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Religion in Stevensburg

Stevensburg Baptist Church

 
 
Religion in Stevensburg Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, June 20, 2020
1. Religion in Stevensburg Marker
Inscription.  On October 23, 1833, Pastors Thornton Stringfellow and John Churchill Gordon organized Stevensburg Baptist Church. The congregation elected Stringfellow as the pastor for the new church and split from Mount Pony Baptist Church, which had relocated from the base of Mount Pony (Pony Mountain) to Culpeper Courthouse. At that time, new churches often developed from the division of older local congregations. Founded in 1774, Mount Pony began with 47 members and grew rapidly to several hundred members in the early 19th century. Both white and enslaved attended church there, and local records indicate that free blacks may have worshiped there as well.

Stevensburg Baptist Church members initially met in a local Methodist meeting house known as the "Free Church." The church grew rapidly and, by 1847, listed 97 black and 88 white members in its congregation. The first church was a 40-foot by 50-foot brick building constructed in 1856. The congregation continued to grow with 124 black members and 67 white members by 1860. Blacks were the majority in the congregation, as well as in Culpeper County's population at that time.

The building was
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used as a Confederate hospital from 1862 to 1863 and eventually burned. The following winter, the brick ruins were used as building materials for the 1863-1864 Union encampment on Hansbrough's Ridge.

The church was not rebuilt until 1874 as Stevensburg slowly returned to a small town with a few community buildings. Remodeled in 1961 and veneered with brick in 1978, the late 19th century building approximates the original footprint of the 1856 church.

Sidebar
Thornton Stringfellow
Born in 1788 in Fauquier County, Baptist Pastor Thornton Stringfellow was ordained in 1814. He continued to minister in Fauquier and Culpeper Counties throughout his career and advocated for domestic missions, the temperance movement, and Sunday School progams. He founded several churches, including Stevensburg Baptist Church.

He was known for pro-slavery articles that used Bible passages as justification for enslavement. As slavery became a hotly debated issue, Stringfellow wrote a Brief Examination of Scripture Testimony on the Institution of Slavery in 1841, Scriptural and Statistical Views in Favor of Slavery in 1856, and Slavery: Its Origin, Nature, and History, Considered in the Light of Bible Teachings, Moral Justice, and Political Wisdom in 1861. Stringfellow, a slave owner, wrote on October 5, 1863, that his slaves fled as the Union
Stevensburg Baptist Church image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, June 20, 2020
2. Stevensburg Baptist Church
Stevensburg Baptist Church, c. 1874, with wood siding still visible (From Early Churches of Culpeper County by Culpeper Historical Society)
occupied his estate known as "Belair," now demolished. His grave is located in the Stevensburg Baptist Church cemetery.
 
Erected 2020 by Virginia Department of Transportation.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Churches & Religion. A significant historical date for this entry is October 23, 1833.
 
Location. 38° 26.502′ N, 77° 53.445′ W. Marker is in Stevensburg, Virginia, in Culpeper County. Marker is at the intersection of York Road (State Road 600) and Germanna Highway (State Highway 3), on the right when traveling east on York Road. Located at an interpretive pull off on the east end of Stevensburg. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Stevensburg VA 22741, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Battlefield Preservation (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Religion in Stevensburg (here, next to this marker); Historic Stevensburg (here, next to this marker); The Civil War in Stevensburg (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named The Civil War in Stevensburg (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named The Civil War in Stevensburg (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named The Civil War in Stevensburg
Reverend Thornton Stringfellow image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, June 20, 2020
3. Reverend Thornton Stringfellow
(image from FindaGrave.com)
(a few steps from this marker); Welcome to Historic Stevensburg, Virginia (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Stevensburg.
 
More about this marker. The marker has numerous typographical errors to include the spelling of Stevensburg in the title.
 
Stevensburg Interpretive Pulloff image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, June 20, 2020
4. Stevensburg Interpretive Pulloff
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 13, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 12, 2020, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 404 times since then and 79 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on July 12, 2020, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2, 3. submitted on July 13, 2020, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   4. submitted on July 12, 2020, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.

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Jun. 24, 2024