Chestnut Grove Baptist Church, Barboursville, Virginia
History of Chestnut Grove Baptist Church
3510 Spotswood Trail
These are the words of the late Sister Artrillion E. Fortune, former long time church clerk, who was a faithful and devoted member of our congregation for over sixty years.
“The members of this congregation known as the Chestnut Grove Baptist Church of Eheart, Virginia, as far as our knowledge, wish to give a few highlights on its beginning. We have no definite date or year. We only say it had its beginning prior to 1888 in a building on what is known as the Ridge Road, about two miles south of Eheart’s Corner; after which a church building was erected just a little way below this one. Services were carried on there until this present building was erected around September 12, 1929. The first elected pastor to serve was the late Rev. Daniel Cave. He served for a number of years until he moved to Altoona, Pennsylvania. At which time he sent to us a very fine pastor in the person of the late Rev. Howard Campbell of lower Orange County. He served us seventeen years before his illness and passing, after which there were others on the scene to serve from time to time. They are as follows: the late Rev. U. John, the late Rev. R. L. Harrison and the late Rev. Page of Scottsville, Virginia who served us a number of years until his illness, at which time sent to us our present leaders in the person of the late Rev. J. J. Agee of Esmont, Virginia. He was installed one year after the passing of Rev. Page and has been our pastor now for a little over fifteen years.”
The above account recorded in 1961 has now been accepted as the official history of our congregation, with our founding date being 1888.
Rev. J. E. Page was our eleventh pastor and served from 1937-1952. He worked hard and long hours to put the finishing touches on the church. He organized our Missionary Circle and the Pastor Aid Club. He was a quiet, humble man with joy in his heart. He worked faithful until his health began to fail him. Following the Homegoing of the late Rev. J. E. Page in 1952, the Rev. Joseph Jasper Agee, Sr. was called to the pastorate of our church. Rev. Agee served as pastor of Chestnut Grove Baptist Church from 1952-1976. He reorganized our Missionary Circle. His most noteworthy accomplishment at our church was the building of the Fellowship Hall. This was dedicated to the Glory of God and named, the Rev. Joseph Jasper Agee, Sr. Memorial Fellowship Hall on March 25, 1986.
Upon the retirement of Pastor Agee in 1976, the late Rev. Reynard Paul Pringle assumed the pastorate from 1977-1983. Under his leadership, the well was dug and the restrooms were added to the church. He also established a Junior Choir and introduced and implemented many new programs in the church. He was the builder of the monument at the entrance of our church. He also instituted Mother of Year and Father of the Year Awards. Rev. Pringle also began the Comfort Room Fundraiser Committee. Under his leadership, the Third Sunday Youth Service began.
In 1982, Pastor Pringle was called to the pastorate of the Second New Hope Baptist Church of Summit, Virginia. Soon thereafter in March 1983, Rev. James H. Jones was extended the invitation to come and serve as the interim pastor. He most graciously accepted the invitation to serve. On September 9, 1983, a meeting was called by the Evangelist Maynard Jones, presiding, to vote on a minister to be the pastor of Chestnut Grove Baptist Church.
Rev. James H. Jones was unanimously voted in as the Pastor-Elect. He was installed as pastor on December 3, 1983, and the installation sermon was delivered by the Honorable Rev. Dr. Walter E. Fauntroy, pastor of the New Bethel Baptist Church, Washington, DC and distinguished United States, retired, Congressman of the District of Columbia.
Under the leadership of Pastor Jones, the most noteworthy accomplishments has been: the aluminum siding placed on the Main Sanctuary, the installing of furnaces in the Main Sanctuary, the renovation of the Fellowship Hall, the construction of a new roof on the church’s Main Sanctuary, air conditioning of the Main Sanctuary and the covering of the pews.
Pastor Jones has brought a progressive program of work that has encouraged total commitment of each member to the church ministry. Many new ideas have been introduced and implemented.
After traveling up and down the highway for many years, Rev. Jones retired as pastor of our church in 2003. On October 4, 2004, Rev. James Haywood Louderback, Jr. was installed as Pastor of Chestnut Grove Baptist Church. Under the leadership of Pastor Louderback, the following accomplishments have been achieved: a van for the church, video/tape ministry, four services a month (which includes a youth Sunday Service), implementation/organization of the Chestnut Grove Male Chorus, Communion Service Monthly, new carpet installed, landscaping and the reformation of our parking area, rebuilding of the Pastor’s study, church sign and the purchase of new choir chairs. Rev. Louderback enjoys singing with the Male Chorus, Bible Study, Sunday School and working with the youth of the church. His objective as a minister is to grow as the Lord Jesus Christ will allow him in both delivering the Word of God and through gospel music and song.
*cemetery on church premises
Contributed by Audrey Rucker