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January 15, 2015 / Joanne Yeck

Salem Methodist Church


 Sketch by Margaret Allen Pennington

Salem United Methodist Church, Courtesy Historic Buckingham

In 1937, Garnett Williams surveyed the site of Salem Methodist Church for the Virginia Historical Inventory. Though the original church was no longer standing, Mrs. Williams suggested it dated from about 1750, writing: “The first Salem Church was located near Chastine Mill on the Rosney Road now known as route 623. . . . One very old lady of the community says she recalls, as a child, this building, and that in addition to the main part of the church there was a room with a chimney and a fireplace at one end of the building. Perhaps the pastor lived in this room.”

Buckingham County historian Lulie Patteson was one of the informants for this survey, as was Miss Edwerta Shepard, who died before the survey was recorded. In 1930, “Werta” Shepard, age seventy-five, was enumerated in the Curdsville District. Her occupation was farming.

While 1750 seems a very early date for the founding of the church, it existed in some form in 1839, when Samuel Shepard of Merry Oaks plantation wrote a letter discussing his slave, Tom. Shepard addressed his letter to “Brother” Spencer of Salem Church.

Click here for more about Samuel Shepard’s letter.


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