Category Archives: Blue Ridge Mountains

Rock Churches of Southwest Virginia

 

Rock Churches in VirginiaThe six historic Stone Churches in Southwest Virginia founded by Rev. Robert Childress in Floyd, Patrick, and Carroll Counties, ca. 1919-1954. They are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The six Childress rock-faced churches are located in the Virginia counties of Floyd, Carroll, and Patrick in the relatively isolated Blue Ridge Province of the Appalachian region of the United States. Built between 1919 and the early 1950s by Presbyterian minister Robert W. Childress, the six churches are significant in their embodiment of Appalachian patterns of Presbyterian religious worship and Presbyterian social activism in western Virginia. The six rock-faced churches also tell the story of the remarkable ministry of Robert W. Childress, who brought spiritual faith and social awakening to the people of the central portion of the Blue Ridge Province in Virginia. The period of significance for the nomination is from 1919, the year of construction of Bluemont Presbyterian Church, to 1956, the year of Robert Childress’s death.

Richard C. Davids, in “The Man Who Moved a Mountain” (1970), tells the story of Robert W. Childress, “an overwhelming, magnetic kind of man,” who established six rock Presbyterian churches in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains of Floyd, Carroll, and Patrick Counties from the 1919 to the early 1950s. The ministry of Bob Childress changed the lives of rural backcountry residents living in relative isolation in a mountainous no-man’s-land along the borders of the three counties of Floyd, Patrick, and Carroll. When Bob Childress died in 1956, he left a spiritual legacy of changed and awakened lives and a material legacy of six rock Presbyterian churches:

  • Bluemont, in Patrick County, built 1919, rock-faced 1945-1946.
  • Mayberry, in Patrick County, built 1925, rock-faced 1948.
  • Buffalo Mountain, in Floyd and Carroll Counties, build of fieldstone in 1929.
  • Slate Mountain, in Floyd and Patrick Counties, built of fieldstone in 1932, expanded in 1951.
  • Dinwiddie, in Carroll County, built of fieldstone in 1948.
  • Willis, in Floyd County, built of fieldstone in 1954.


Dan Traveling – Virginia’s Historic Mountain Churches of the Blue Ridge


View Rock Churches in Virginia in a larger map

Sources used in this post: