Timber Ridge Presbyterian Church

Listed on the National Register of Historic Place the present stone church dates from 1756. It served as the site for Liberty Hall Academy from 1777 until 1780. While the church has gone through many changes, its main portion incorporates the wall of the 1756 structure, and, as such, is the second oldest Presbyterian church in the Valley of Virginia.

Timber Ridge
The log Timber Ridge meeting house stood some distance north of the present church. The spot is on rising ground, about 100 yards east of the nine mile post on the turnpike, and near a log schoolhouse no longer in use. Nearby is an early graveyard, now almost indistinguishable. The logs of the pioneer church were built into the dwelling house of M. H. Crist, which was standing until after 1906. The stone church was built in 1756 by the efforts of about fifty families. There was a puncheon floor, high-backed pews with very narrow seats, and stone stairways to the gallery. The clerk stood at a desk in front of the pulpit and led the singing, the lines being given out in couplets or by verses. As in other houses of worship of the pioneer day, there was a sounding board above the pulpit, which was placed much higher than in the present custom. With considerable enlargement and modernizing, the old stone church is still a part of the one now in use.

The Hanover Presbytery met at Timber Ridge in 1784 and licensed John Blair, pastor of the first organized Presbyterian church in Richmond. Two years later was held the first session of Lexington Presbytery, attended by twelve ministers. The first elders of this church were Archibald Alexander, John Davidson, Daniel Lyle, William McClung, Alexander McClure, and John McKay. The first pastor was John Brown, who resigned in 1767. William Graham was pastor from 1776 to 1785, Daniel Blair from 1802 to 1814, Henry Ruffner from 1819 to 1831. The later pastorates number fourteen.

Copyright © Genealogy Trails 2017

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