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Old Greenbrier Baptist Church

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1930–1935, Walter Martens. 303 North Monroe St. (west side of Monroe opposite angular intersection with Spring St.)

Set on an expansive lawn, this is the fourth building to house a congregation that was constituted in 1781 in “Greenbrier County nigh Muddy Creek.” The present church replaces a log meetinghouse and two subsequent frame structures, all erected on or near the same site. The cemetery behind the church was designated a burial ground in 1783, and its oldest legible tombstone marks the grave of a pioneer born in 1730.

Although the contract was let in 1930, because of the Depression the church was not opened until 1935 and not completed until 1940. The finished building is an L-shaped complex, Early English Gothic in style, and built of Indiana limestone. The sanctuary extends toward the street, while the Sunday school wing projects at a right angle. Both wings have bright red tile roofs, and access to each is through the base of a square tower at the re-entrant angle. Inside, the sanctuary is highlighted by dark oak woodwork, lancet-arched stained glass windows depicting events in the life of Christ, and a restrained hammer-beam ceiling. The church is larger than one would expect to find in a town Alderson's size, and the congregation takes rightful pride in it.

Writing Credits

S. Allen Chambers Jr.

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