Clio Logo

Zachariah Thompson, a Baptist minister based in North Carolina, founded a church here on Reedy Creek by 1772. This is the oldest continuing Baptist church in Brunswick County. Members later helped organize a number of other congregations in the region. Before the Civil War, many enslaved African Americans were accepted as members of Reedy Creek but worshiped from the balcony. A cemetery was established here early in the 20th century, and the present sanctuary opened in 1956. Remains of the original church exist on the property.


  • Current Building and Grounds

According to Semple, Reedy Creek Baptist Church was a part of the Meherrin Association constituted in 18004. Asplund mentions that in 1791, a group of 21 churches originally met in Portsmouth, Virginia to form the Association. The church had been planted by Zachariah Thomson in 1774 with forty members, and he visited regularly while there was not permanent pastor in place. Elder William Dossey was given oversight years later and the church membership flourished under his leadership, (Semple). The members were stated to be "famous for virtue, piety, and usefulness" (Burkitt).
Within the Association, Reedy Creek was the only Baptist church in Brunswick County until 1810 with the addition of James Square. The Concord Association record calls Reedy Creek Baptist the "Mother of Churches" for this reason. A possible explanation for the lack of Baptist churches in the area at the time is due to the diverse congregation. The church served both Caucasians and African Americans. Based on records from the Virginia Baptist Historical Society at the University of Richmond, by 1850 the membership was more populated by African Americans. In fact, at the 1794 Association meeting, it had been decided that African Americans could be delegates for the church to the Convention.
The church has been through cyclical periods of increased and decreased membership and activity. In terms of the structure, the foundations and steps remain on site, but the current building is more modern. The cemetery includes graves of veterans from many of the nation's wars. Today, the church has an engaged community with weekly services and multiple events throughout the year.

Lemuel Burkitt and Jesse Read, A Concise History of the Kehukee Baptist Association (Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo and Co., 1850).

“Minutes of the Kehukey Association,” James Sprunt Historical Monograph No. 5 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 1904).

John Asplund, The Annual Register of the Baptist Denomination in North America to the First of November, 1790

Robert Baylor Semple, A History of the Rise and Progress of the Baptists in Virginia (Richmond, 1810).

Cushing Biggs Hassell, History of the Church of God from the Creation to A.D. 1885 (Middletown, NY: Gilbert Beebe’s Sons, 1885).

Darlene Herod, research notes, Virginia Baptist Historical Society, University of Richmond

Gay Neale, Brunswick County, Virginia, 1720-1975 (Brunswick County Bicentennial Committee, 1975).

“History of Reedy Creek, Concord Association, Brunswick County, Virginia” (provided by church)

Jewel Spangler “Baptists in Colonial Virginia,” Encyclopedia Virginia

Garnett Ryland, The Baptists of Virginia, 1699-1926 (Richmond: Virginia Baptist Board of Missions and Education, 1955).