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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Kernstown in Frederick County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Opequon Presbyterian Church

 
 
Opequon Presbyterian Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, October 31, 2020
1. Opequon Presbyterian Church Marker
Inscription.  
Early Years
This historic church was established by Scotch-Irish and German settlers who migrated from eastern Pennsylvania in the early 1730s. William Hoge donated an additional two acres for a burying ground Two log and two stone houses of worship have occupied this site. The congregation was officially recognized as a Presbyterian church circa 1736 under oversight of the Donegal (Pa.) Presbytery.

Named Opequon Church after the original name of the area, "Opekon settlement," it grew in size and influence. By the time of the French and Indian War in the 1750s it had become the primary place of public worship within a wide area. Tradition holds that George Washington worshipped here on occasion during that time. During the Revolutionary War, Opequon Church made a major contribution to the war effort, and seven known veterans are buried here. In 1790 a new stone sanctuary replaced the two earlier log structures.

Middle Years
By the early 1800s, Opequon's prominence as the area's leading place of worship had declined, and for many years its membership ebbed and flowed. During the Civil war years,
Opequon Presbyterian Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, October 31, 2020
2. Opequon Presbyterian Church Marker
the First and Second Battles of Kernstown were fought near and around the church, and the building and cemeteries were badly damaged. Worship services were discontinued in 1863, and the ruined structure was used as a stable for horses. Following the war, and after partial restoration, the church building was destroyed by fire in 1873. The abandoned church site reverted to nature and the remnants of the congregation worshipped elsewhere.

A Renewed Vision
Out of the past comes motivation and direction for the future. The hardy Scotch-Irish descendants refused to accept defeat, and in 1889 plans and financing were arranged for reconstruction. The memorial church was built in 1897 using most of the foundation and stones from the 1970 structure. In 2005, the new sanctuary was completed and linked physically and spiritually to the memorial church by a passage filled with artifacts from our rich historical past. Often called the "Mother Church of the Valley," the congregation has sent forth over the years 43 ministers and 8 missionaries, whose families were nurtured here. Sunday schools and chapels were organized and supported in the surrounding countryside. Today, Opequon Presbyterian Church is a vibrant, caring, and growing congregation, continuing to serve community, nation, and God. Our heritage over four centuries inspires and challenges us as we continue to
Additional plaques on the building image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, October 31, 2020
3. Additional plaques on the building
The plaques are for the church's status a location for inclusion of the National Register of Historic Places, the Virginia Historic Landmarks and the American Presbyterian and Reformed Historical Sites.
glorify God in this place. (Marker Number 169.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & ReligionColonial EraSettlements & SettlersWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the American Presbyterian and Reformed Historic Sites ⛪ series list.
 
Location. 39° 8.39′ N, 78° 11.687′ W. Marker is in Kernstown, Virginia, in Frederick County. Marker is on Opequon Church Lane (Virginia Route 706) 0.1 miles west of Rosewood Lane, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 217 Opequon Church Ln, Winchester VA 22602, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Battle of Kernstown (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Battle of Kernstown (within shouting distance of this marker); Kernstown Battles (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Battle of Kernstown (within shouting distance of this marker); In Memory of William Hoge (1660 - 1749) and His Wife Barbara Hume Hoge (1670 - 1745) (within shouting distance of this marker); In Memory of the Many Soldiers of the Revolution (within shouting distance of this marker); 1790 Stone Church
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(within shouting distance of this marker); Second Battle of Kernstown (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kernstown.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. This marker has replaced the linked marker.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 2, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 2, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 38 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 2, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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Mar. 7, 2021