the mighty Roanoke’s tea-colored depths, the legacy of faith and
worship are deep in the culture of Washington County. From the
earliest English settlers through the traditions of Africans on
antebellum plantations to today’s multicultural society, faith and
worship remains the cornerstone of our culture.
Pettigrew Chapel, the earliest established church in the county, was
established by Charles Pettigrew around the end of the 18th century
to serve the area around Belgrade and Bonarva Plantations. It grew
into what we know today as St. David’s Episcopal Church in Creswell,
now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Soon after,
in 1810, Concord Primitive Baptist Church was constructed.
Most of the existing houses of worship in Washington County are more
than a century old. Each tells a unique story of our county, our
country and the families who, for generations, have celebrated souls
born, born again and laid to rest in the warmth and security of
churchyards. Visitors may discover a long-lost ancestor in some of
these ancient and accessible church grave yards. Or, they may simply
enjoy the serene solitude enveloping these moss-draped eternal
gardens. A fine array of statues, vaults and ironwork dates back
over two centuries and adds an artistic presence to the atmosphere.
For well over two centuries, the legacy of faith in Plymouth, Roper,
Creswell and surrounding countryside has stood the test of time,
changing governments, domestic and foreign wars, and changing
economies. With roots so firmly planted, this legacy is sure to hold
fast in the future, no matter what storms may bring.