This is the second post about a transcription of membership and baptism
records of Methodist “classes” on the “Mecklenburg Circuit” of the
Virginia Methodist Conference, touching from the 1830’s into the 1870’s.
Southside Virginia was a pioneering area for American
Methodism.Randolph-Macon College, a historically Methodist school, was
established at Boydton, Mecklenburg County, in 1830.Mid-nineteenth
century Methodist circuits in southside Virginia consisted of many
congregations, variously termed “churches” and “classes.”Each was
typically served by one itinerant clergyman, assisted by lay preachers.
Composition of the Mecklenburg Circuit varied over the years.In this
transcription of I find mention of as many as 35 distinct
congregations.My research indicates that most, 21, were in *Mecklenburg*
County, of which 13 are /historical/, that is, are no longer active
Methodist congregations.These 21 of Mecklenburg County, with historical
ones shown in /italics/, are as follows:Boydton, /Canaan/, /College
Station/ (likely Randolph-Macon College), /Concord/ (shared with
Baptists and Presbyterians), Easters, /El Bethel/, Ephesus, /Gilgal/,
Kingswood (also Kings Wood, formerly Calvary), /Lombardy Grove/, /Old
Bethel/, “/Old Church/” (shared with Episcopalians), Providence,
Rehoboth, /Ridge Grove/, /Salem/, Sardis, /South Hill/ (also Southhill),
/St. James/ (acquired from Episcopalians), /Taylors/, and Zion.Five of
the 35 were in southwestern *Brunswick* County, as follows:Bethany,
Pleasant Grove, Prospect, Rock, and /Tabernacle/.One of the 35, Antioch,
was and is in southern *Lunenburg* County, and one, Hebron, was and is
in southeastern *Charlotte* County.My research finds no information on
seven of the 35, as follows:/Centenary Chapel/, /Davis/ (also Davises),
/High Grove/, /Lion/, /Oak Grove/, /Sharon/, and /Spring Hill/.Of the 28
having a known location, 26 were located between Meherrin River to the
north and Roanoke River to the south.The other two, Antioch and Pleasant
Grove, were located north of the Meherrin.
I have been personally familiar with many of these congregations, having
grown up along the Mecklenburg-Brunswick border, and being raised
Methodist.At different times in my father’s childhood, he and his family
attended Sardis, Kingswood and Canaan.My dad, though not a pastor, was a
designated lay speaker, and I sometimes went along when he “filled a
pulpit.”For this and other reasons – weddings, funerals, revivals,
homecomings, fifth Sunday sings – I have visited at least Bethany,
/Canaan/, Kingswood, Pleasant Grove, Prospect, Providence, Rehoboth,
Rock, Sardis and /Tabernacle/, that I recall.
The Poythress relations I have so far identified in these records are
found in three congregations – Sardis, Rehoboth and Zion – all in
eastern Mecklenburg County, and all still actively gathered:
* Sardis meets at 3152 Marengo Road, La Crosse, VA 23950.
* Rehoboth meets at 1919 Blackridge Road, La Crosse, about 5 miles
southeast of Sardis.
* Zion meets at 3055 Busy Bee Road, South Hill, VA23970, about 12
miles west-northwest of Sardis.
I hope this provides useful background.I expect in a next message to
start sharing the Poythress relations I have found, starting with those
in Sardis congregation.Meanwhile, comments on what I have shared so far
will be very welcomed. --Lyn