Arvon Presbyterian Church
Etching by Elizabeth Nattingham Jones
Worship Services are held at 11:00 am on the first and third Sundays of each month. We have a Fellowship Breakfast on the first Sunday at 9:30 am.
On the second and fourth Sundays we worship at Fork Union Presbyterian Church, and on fifth Sundays, if there is one, we worship at Trinity-New Canton Presbyterian Church.
A Brief History
Rugged individualists from Wales came to Buckingham County, Virginia in the 1800's in order to quarry the outstanding and large mines of slate available and awaiting individuals of ingenuity, initiative and painstaking commitment. Hence as early as 1867 a small hamlet was founded by the Cymry (Welsh countrymen).
A slate manufacturer, John Williams, made the suggestion with which various other settlers in the Commonwealth concurred, that in honor of Caernarvon, Wales, this hamlet should be named Arvon. This occurred circa 1867, but in a very few years, it became necessary to avoid confusion between Avon, Virginia and Arvon, Virginia; therefore, Arvon became Arvonia -- although church names in the vicinity remained Arvon.
Note: The present day Buckingham Slate Company, a commercial enterprise, has a page of their website devoted to the history of slate mining in Arvonia, including several photographs.
Even to this day, the Welsh flag flies proudly over the little Arvon Memorial Cemetery, located across the road from the Arvon Presbyterian Church.
Note: Many of the earliest tombstones are slate, and bear Welsh inscriptions.
Many members, largely Welsh in background, of Trinity Church in New Canton wanted religious services to be held in the immediate vicinity of the "Slate Quarries."
As early as November 10, 1883 the Trinity Church Session Minutes note receiving several members into full communion from "a Church in Wales." Those same minutes also reflect transferring the membership of John Edwards to "The Slate Quarries..."
On August 10, 1884 ordination and installation services were held for an Elder and a Deacon at "The Welsh Chapel."
What was then West Hanover Presbytery officially organized the Arvon Church on September 26, 1885.
Note: an email from a long time member of the church whose ancestors remembered the early days explains that originally the Worship Service and the hymns were conducted in the Welsh language!
On September 13, 1889 a joint committee of Elders and Deacons from Trinity and Arvon were appointed to begin the construction of a Manse across the road from the Arvon Church. This home still stands, but is now privately owned.
On October 9, 1960 an Annex to the Sanctuary portion of the church was dedicated, adding classrooms, a social hall and a kitchen.
On January 15, 2009 the Sanctuary portion of the building was almost completely destroyed by fire.
On June 9, 2009, at a Special Called Meeting, the Arvon Session voted to begin the rebuilding process.
By August 1, 2009, the damaged portion of the building had been removed, and the reconstruction phase began in April 2010
On March 11, 2012 the Session of Arvon Church accepted the recommendation of the Rebuilding Committee to resume our normal worship schedule on Palm Sunday. April 1, 2012.
We praise God for this wonderful event in the life of our Parish!
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