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October 15, 2013 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Churches: Dating Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church

Courtesy Historic Buckingham

Courtesy Historic Buckingham

In 1942, Mrs. W.E. Pratt wrote a history of Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church, in which she stated:

This church building was started sometime during the War Between the States and finished after the end of the war. The reason for thinking this is that Mr. Charles Christian, a large land and slave holder, said he would be a liberal contributor if they (the Methodists) would have the church built with a gallery, so his slaves could worship in it.  It has always been a disputed point in recent years whether Mr. Christian or Mr. Johner Word gave the land for the church to be built on.  I know the church was not finished until after the end of the war.  My two brothers and I would walk up to the Methodist church to see the carpenters at work.

Another, undated history compiled by church member Louise Morriss Swartz offers: “One source says Trinity was built in 1858 by James Isbell, land given by Charles Christian.  Mrs. Sue Spencer gave the church land for the cemetery.”

Interestingly, Housewright House, the museum maintained by Historic Buckingham, has an original Buckingham Circuit, Virginia Conference, Methodist Episcopal Church South Record Book which lists churches, members, baptisms and classes in the Buckingham Circuit for 1852–1879. Its first listing for Trinity is a Sunday school class roll dated 1864.

Once again, Buckingham County history proves a mosaic of apparently contradictory facts.

Can a Slate River Ramblings reader offer more about Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church?

Special thanks to Margaret Thomas for this additional information.

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