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Hermitage Baptist to celebrate 220th year

Hermitage Baptist Church
Hermitage Baptist Church at Church View will celebrate its 220th anniversary this Sunday, September 27.

Sunday school will be at 10 a.m., worship at 11 a.m. and dinner on the grounds at 12:15 p.m.

A former pastor, Chuck Cooper, will be the guest preacher for the day and many church friends and family members are expected to gather for the grand event. There will be a 2 p.m. service of remembrance and music to close out the day. 

Hermitage Baptist Church was constituted in 1789 and the first building was a frame structure about 100 yards behind the old Revis Post Office. Hermitage is a daughter church of Glebe Landing Baptist.

Beginning in the late 1820s some of the members living near the site of the present church began worshiping in a building that had been abandoned by the Episcopalians, because it was nearer their homes. The churches became known as Old Hermitage and New Hermitage.

By the middle of the 19th century the old church was razed and all members began worshiping in the former Anglican Church, which had been erected in 1772-73. When the Baptists gained ownership of the building, they tore down the east and west wings and made the shape rectangular rather than cruciform.

In 1923-24, the building was completely remodeled inside and the front entrance was changed.

In 1948 the church burned and the present one was built in the early 1950s. An education wing was added in 1988.

Hermitage is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention, the Virginia Baptist General Association, and the Mid-Tidewater Baptist Association. It is the mother church of Zoar Baptist, Saluda Baptist, and Mount Zion Baptist.

Twenty-seven pastors have served Hermitage with Rev. John W. Ryland having served over 32 years. Having to share pastors with other area churches in earlier years, Hermitage has employed a full-time pastor since 1958. 

posted 09.23.2009

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