August 17, 2010

Salem Baptist Church, Great Falls, VA: I

From The Washington Post, Metro Section, 12 Apr 2004:

“Church Raises Roof, Determination: Great Falls Congregation Rebuilds Isabel-Damaged Structure"

•“The tiny African American congregation of Salem Baptist Church.”
•“…built more than 80 years ago on land once owned by freed slaves.”
•Rev. Roland W. Smith, current
•“The roots of Salem Baptist lie in the African American community that worshipped at Mount Moriah Baptist Church in Great Falls more than a century ago. In 1903, some members of that church who lived closer to Dranesville decided to form their own congregation, which they named Salem Baptist.”
•“Salem has only about 50 members. Most of its congregation still is made up of descendants of the Simms and Ellis families, and the members are scattered across the Washington area.”
•“Salem’s biggest event is its homecoming on the first Sunday of August, drawing from 150 to 200 people.”

And from my notes I wrote:
Be careful not to confuse Salem Baptist with Salem Methodist.

Unfortunately, it seems as if the snows of the past winter damaged Salem Baptist beyond repair.

I wish them the best, it really is a very special place.

I just happened to visit the day after this notice was posted:

Not a grave marker: :)

I do not know if there are burials here. Certainly, there were no grave markers visible on the surface. But the landscape sure does read as if there are:

Maddy McCoy
Fairfax County, Virginia
Slavery Inventory Database

1 comment :

  1. 3/31/2011: Don't let our history wither away. Do what you can to save this church. It is a landmark reminder of a people's belief in GOD for continued endurance and LOVE through the tsunami of hatred bestowed by man. GRB