Historical Sites and Other Points of Interest
Red Bank Baptist Church, Marionville
Red Bank Baptist Church
Red Bank Baptist Church was the third Baptist church founded on the
Virginia Shore, and it is the second oldest still in existence. Elijah
Baker organized the church in 1783 and continued as pastor until 1789,
when he was succeeded by John Elliott. For more than half a century Red
Bank's pastors were most often shared with Lower Northampton.
Red Bank was originally located near bridgetown, hence its early
name "Hungars." The building was already standing in 1794, when Joab
Bell gave the land on which it stood for the "use of the baptist
preachers ... to preach there forever and for no other use whatever."
Somewhere around 1831, however, the congregation relocated in
Marionville, ad took the name Red Bank. The older site was abandoned
andis today forgotten.
It was in the new church building in Marionville that the
Accomack Baptist Assoication, still in the thores of schism, convened in
1832. Red Bank was one of the few Baptist congregations on the Shore not
disturbed by the anti-missions controversy. In fact, the year 1832 saw a
great revival at the church, and 51 new members were received by
The present church site was purched from George Bell and John H.
Powell in 1857 and a new building, the third, was occupied by 1858. In
this building the Reverend William Thomas led a "precious" and powerful
revival in 1872. Thomas died later that year and was buried near the
church; when later the church building was enlarged, the congregation
was careful to make certain that th enew pulpit was constructed directly
above his grave.
The present church building, second on this site and the
congregation's fourt, was erected in 1899. The Reverend William Hatcher
of Richmond preached on August 28, 1900, when the building was
dedicated. An annex was added to the building in 1906, and in 1961 a
separate church hall was constructed.
Red Bank joined with Lower Northampton to establish Eastville
Baptist Church in 1877 and with Wardtown to establish Exmore Baptist
Church in 1907. From its ranks have come three ministers and the
missionary, Frances Carter Jones, daughter of the Reverend E. Pendleton
Jones, who died in service in Nigeria in 1937.
From its very earliest years Red Bank has been a vigorous and
prosperous church. Its first recorded membership, in 1809, was 125. Its
maximum membership, in the mid 1950s, was almost double that amount. The
church today boasts some 230 members.
Source: Mariner, Kirk. Revival's Children: A Religous History of
Virginia's Eastern Shore. Salisbury Maryland: Peninsula Press, 1979.
Location: Intersection of routes 600 and 617, area south of route 617.
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Most recent revision Monday, June 02, 1997 9:57:25 PM