Alexander Hill Baptist Church

Historical Significance

Alexander Hill Baptist Church was founded in 1865, and today is considered the oldest African- American Church in Buckingham County. At the end of the Civil War, a prominent local lawyer named Alexander Moseley gave each of his former slaves a parcel of land. It is thought that Moseley gave land to an enslaved woman, Little, who was married to Reverend Gabe Palmer, on the condition that a place of worship be built on part of the land. 

In 1865, Reverend Palmer and approximately 500 followers organized the Alexander Hill Baptist Church. The church was first constructed as a "brush arbor," and a mound of earth served as the preacher's pulpit. A 'brush arbor' is an outdoor shelter, often made from wooden poles, with branches or hay serving as a roof. The enslaved African American community used these temporary structures to protect worshippers from the elements when more permanent structures were unavailable or not permissible on a plantation. In 1867, the Alexander Hill church moved from this impermanent structure into a log building.

In order to meet the needs of an expanding congregation, two new churches were organized;  Warminster Baptist and Salem Baptist. In 1890, church members also organized the Jerusalem Baptist Church to protest the Reverend Palmer's involvement in politics.

Physical Description

Alexander Hill Baptist Church is located on Jerusalem Church Road (Route 655) in the Glenmore area. It is a white clapboard building with two doors and a steeple. Boards now cover the original log structure. The Alexander Hill Baptist Church congregation is no longer active.

Geographical and Contact Information

1171 Jerusalem Church Road (State Route 655)
Buckingham, Virginia
23921

Images

Alexander Hill Church

Alexander Hill Church

Front of Alexander Hill Church View File Details Page

Alexander Hill Church Interior

Alexander Hill Church Interior

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Alexander Hill Church Arbor

Alexander Hill Church Arbor

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Cite this Page:

Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, “Alexander Hill Baptist Church,” African American Historic Sites Database, accessed November 24, 2017, http://www.aahistoricsitesva.org/items/show/14.

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