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Batestown in Prince William County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Little Union Baptist Church

 
 
Little Union Baptist Church Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Kevin W., April 20, 2008
1. Little Union Baptist Church Marker
Inscription.  
In Memory of
John and Mary Thomas
Sept. 1901
Little Union Baptist Church

[Original Cornerstone]:
Little Union
Baptist Church
Estb. 1903

 
Erected by Little Union Baptist Church.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCharity & Public WorkChurches & Religion. A significant historical month for this entry is September 1901.
 
Location. 38° 34.78′ N, 77° 20.824′ W. Marker is in Batestown, Virginia, in Prince William County. Marker is on Mine Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 17150 Mine Road, Dumfries VA 22026, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Old Cabin Branch / Clarkson School (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Little Union Baptist Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Reclaiming the Land (approx. 0.3 miles away); Pyrite Mine (approx. 0.3 miles away); Pyrite Mine Road (approx. one mile
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away); Quantico Church (approx. 1.1 miles away); In Memory (approx. 1.1 miles away); Revolutionary War Patriots and War of 1812 Veterans (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Batestown.
 
More about this marker. Marker is near the front steps of the Little Union Baptist Church.
 
Also see . . .  History of the Little Union Baptist Church. "In order to relate the development of Little Union Baptist Church, one must delve into the history of the surrounding community and into the life-story of one of its outstanding matriarchs. The Church, which is 100 years old, has occupied three sites—all on Mine (Batestown) Road in the Dumfries District of Prince William County, Virginia. Batestown Road derives its name from a remarkable Black woman to whom many generations of local Blacks trace their roots. Her name was Mary Bates. Mary, fondly referred to as Granny Mary, was born into slavery during plantation days in Northern Virginia. She was an unusual slave in that she gained favor with her owners and enjoyed many privileges denied other slaves. Of foremost importance is the fact that Mary was
Little Union Baptist Church Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Kevin W., April 20, 2008
2. Little Union Baptist Church Marker
taught to read and write. She also enjoyed homemaking duties in the "Big House." Along with other Blacks on the Graham plantation, she received religious instruction in Sunday afternoon classes conducted by the mistress. A stronger faith was developed, however, when these same Graham plantation slaves held their own camp meetings. It was there that hard-working men and women, through songs and prayer, gave vent to the frustrations and joys that characterized their lives. They had an unwavering belief in the mercies of God and in His divine concern for their personal welfare.

Shortly before the passing of the Emancipation Proclamation that freed all slaves, Mary was permitted to marry a young slave from an adjoining plantation. His name was John (Jack) Thomas. Following emancipation, Mary and John became stalwart members of the Black community that formed around Cabin Branch Run. Early freedom years presented many problems for former slaves. The inhabitants of Cabin Branch (later referred to as Batestown) found comfort and assistance when they visited the small general store operated by the Thomas’s. There Black men gathered to discuss crops, share ideas, and plan. The marvelous matriarch, Mary Bates Thomas was a letter writer for many illiterates of both races; she administered strange medications that proved remarkably effective; and, as a midwife, she delivered a major
Cornerstone, behind and to the right of the marker. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Kevin W., April 20, 2008
3. Cornerstone, behind and to the right of the marker.
[There are two other corner stones nearby. This one, behind and to the right of the main marker, reads]:
Little Union Baptist Church
Est. — 1903
Rebuilt — 1996
Rev. Leonard B. Lacy
Pastor
percentage of the babies born during that era, especially those whose parents could not afford the services of a doctor. During the last quarter of the 19th Century, two Baptist Churches for Blacks were erected in the area. One was the Neabsco Baptist, presently on Cardinal Drive in Woodbridge and the other was the Mt. Zion Baptist Church, located near Joplin Road in Quantico, Virginia. To these sanctuaries traveled the inhabitants of Cabin Branch, some by foot and some in horse and wagon.

Mary reflected on the need that she and her neighbors had for a church of their own; and, with gentle persuasion, she finally convinced John that they should donate the needed land. Records on file at the courthouse in Manassas, Virginia, show a deed dated September 9, 1901 from John Thomas and Mary Thomas, his wife, to Daniel Reid, Buck Griffin and Tazwell Bates, all church trustees. Within the deed was the statement that the property was given for the exclusive use of the New School Baptist Church. When the building was completed in 1903, it was given its present name, Little Union Baptist Church." (Submitted on April 23, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.) 
 
Cornerstone, behind and to the left of the marker. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Kevin W., April 20, 2008
4. Cornerstone, behind and to the left of the marker.
[There are two other corner stones nearby. This one, behind and to the left of the main marker, reads]:
Little Union Baptist Church
Est. — 1903
Rebuilt — 1977
Rev. W. Ervin Green
Pastor
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on April 23, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,079 times since then and 30 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 23, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.

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Mar. 1, 2024