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New Providence Church, Rockbridge County, Virginia

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Settlement of the Valley of Virginia began with the establishment of Beverly's Manor about 1734, and an influx of settlers seeking cheap land. By 1740 enough Scot Irish Presbyterians had settled in the area to warrant the establishment of a church. The Rev. John Craig accepted a call for the congregation of Shenandoah, based at what became "South Mountain Meeting House". Other congregations were soon established.

Among them was the "New Providence Congregation", established in 1746 by the Rev. John Blair. The initial site of New Providence was in what is now a small community known as "Spottswood", about 4 miles northwest of Steele's Tavern. New Providence drew from a substantial area, and it was soon realized that a more central location for the church was needed. By the late 1740's the Church was moved to the Moffats Creek area, just north of Brownsburg, and about four miles west of its original location.

The Rev. John Brown was ordained as the first minister of New Providence Meeting House on October 11, 1753. He also served the Timber Ridge Congregation, a few miles futher south. The intial meetinghouses were of log construction, but by 1754 the congregation sought something more substantial, and began work on a stone work meeting house, across the creek from the location of the second log meeting house.

This was our third building and was made with stone and probably occupied the site over which our present brick building stands. It was completed around 1760 and was quite an undertaking for the people of that day. There were no roads, no wagons. Sand for the mortar was brought from South River some eight or ten miles away by the young girls and women of the congregation on horseback. Unintentionally, a sycamore seed was brought in the sand which took root and grew into a tree that still stands today. Brown, 1996

By 1812 the church had outgrown the stone building, and construction of a larger brick building, the congregation's fourth santctuary, was begun on the same site. The congregation continued to grow, and in 1856 yet another bulding was needed. The fifth and final sanctuary was completed about 1859.

Based on: Brown, 1996. History of New Providence Church

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