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Old 01-03-2009, 02:20 PM   #97
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Center Branch Church - Harrison Co

Located on Rt 20 just southeast of Clarksburg and Nutter Fort is the location of one of the area's oldest churches, Center Branch Church.

The following excerpts : Copyright 1997 by Jane Hodgson. Jane Hodgson grants USGenWeb Archivesthe right to post this information. This information may be freely copied, but may not be sold.

The Church of Jesus Christ in Harrison County, Virginia, called the
Center Branch Baptist Church was formally organized Sept. 26, 1818.
Members of the Simpson Creek Baptist Church at Bridgeport residing in
this Center Branch area found it a hardship to attend services so far
away, necessitating travel over roads which were scarcely more than
bridle paths.


On Sept. 26, 1818 nineteen members constituted the original organization
and entered into the usual covenant at this session. They became the
first members of the church. Elder John Bailey acted as
moderator and David Holden as clerk at the initial session.
One month later, Oct. 24, the first business session of the new church
was held.


The original church building of the Center Branch Church was an old log
house which stood in the grove below the road near the present structure.
It was later used as a schoolhouse. The old church answered the purpose
of the congregation until December 1853, when it was decided to build a
new meeting house.


Enjoying a steady increase of membership the church and an enrollment of
218 members in 1845. The old records show 'people of color', using the
language found in the old church minutes, had been admitted to
membership. The latter were mostly slaves in the Devers, HOLDEN, Stout
and other families. They occupied rear seats of the services. It is
also learned slaves later demitted from the Center Branch Church to unite
with the Clarksburg Church, which likewise had opened its doors to
colored people.

The Center Branch Church celebrated their 150th Anniversary of its
founding on September 29, 1968 with a homecoming dinner and special
dedication service.


There can be no complete history of this church as the ruthless
hand of theft broke into the edifice the summer of 1931 and committed to
destructive flames. Many of its most valuable records covering a period
of years of possibly its greatest activities though perhaps, not of its
almost insurmountable problems for its very existence and yet it has
survived and is today a striking example of what faith, work and devotion
can accomplish.

[End of Quote]



Historical Marker located on Rt 20 between Nutter Fort and Quiet Dell.




View north/west on Rt 20 going into Nutter Fort. Present day church is up on the hill to your left about 100 yards.



Present-Day Center Branch Church.
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