History of Little River Baptist Church

A CHURCH BOUND TOGETHER THROUGH ITS PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE

Little River Baptist Church, Aldie VA AN EXTENSIVE AND IMPRESSIVE COLLECTION of documents and photographs chronicling nearly 250 years of the church's history is on file at the church, as well as in the archives of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society in Richmond (www.baptistheritage.org). Included among these documents are deeds and plats dating from 1769; abstracts of minutes from 1871 to 1992; membership records from 1871 to 1955; lists of pastors, trustees, officers, and teachers from 1918 to 2002; and brief histories that were prepared for special occasions, as well as newspaper clippings, newsletters, and bulletins. A few items regarding the Woman's Missionary Union (WMU) also are included.

Mrs. Louisa S. Hutchison dedicated many years of her life to collecting historical papers related to local and county history. As church historian, she lovingly and meticulously compiled and preserved these valuable records. Mrs. Hutchison was a native of Loudoun County with deep roots in the Little River community, and a former deputy clerk of the Loudoun County Circuit Court, making her uniquely qualified to serve as curator of the history of Little River Baptist Church.

It would be a daunting task to condense nearly 250 years of the church's history into a few paragraphs that will accommodate the short attention spans of today's website visitors. Rather than "repeat history" — and Mrs. Hutchison's good work — this page provides several essays from the church archives that bring the past into the light. Also included are photographs that show the 1890 church (shown above) and the 1973 (current) building at various stages of use and construction.

Little River Church has been recognized by the Virginia Baptist Historical Society as a church constituted in the 18th century during the struggle for religious liberty in Virginia and the United States which remains a Baptist witness today.

1757 Loudoun County established
September 2, 1769 One-half acre of land deeded by William West to Benjamin Hutchison, John Smarr, John Shippey, and William Berkley, Trustees, purchased for one shilling
Little River Baptist Church constituted
First church was a one-room log building that already stood on the site and was also used as a schoo
March 2, 1772 One acre of land deeded by Samuel Wyckoff to John Lewis and Joseph Hutchison, Trustees, purchased for 20 shillings
April 1775 Revolutionary War begins
c. October 1775 Second church built, erected of logs (this is the first building erected on the permanent site at Braddock Road)
June 1788 Virginia becomes the 10th state
1814 Third church built, erected of brick
1861 American Civil War begins
1889 Brick building determined unsafe and demolished
July 5, 1890 Fourth church dedicated (timber-framed building)
1894 – 1895 Baptistry rooms added
1952 Two-story addition for Sunday school rooms completed
1957 LRBC withdraws from all field associations and becomes full-time church
December 11, 1971 Church building destroyed by fire (caused by over- heated water-circulating pump used to heat water in baptismal font)
January 1972 – July 1973 Services held at Arcola Elementary School during church construction
August 5, 1973 Fifth church dedicated

Today we are left to wonder at God's purpose and His plan. Why has Little River Baptist Church continued as a living body for over 200 years while so many other churches have fallen by the wayside?... Does God have special plans for Little River? 

One thing we know is that it is the members of this, or any other, church who makes it live, keep the faith, and work for the Lord. It is God-loving people – past, present, and future – who bind a Church together and make the difference between success and failure. 


"Remarks on History of the Little River Baptist Church Ground-breaking Ceremony," L.V. Ray, Jr., July 8, 1972