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History

Members of the Church of the Brethren began to settle in Rockingham County and adjoining counties as early as 1775-1789. The members were widely scattered in those days, and there were no strict congregational lines until many years later. During the 19th century, three church centers were definitely formed — Greenmount, Linville Creek and Flat Rock. Linville Creek had the large territory extending from the Massanutten Mountain westward to the West Virginia line. There were at least 10 meeting places in Linville Creek Congregation at one time with a total of over 600 members.

When the Brethren first came to the Valley, they worshipped in their houses and barns and out in the open whenever the weather was suitable. Some of their houses were built with partitions on hinges to be raised to accommodate larger crowds for worship services. Linville Creek had three such houses — Elder John Kline house, Benjamin Yount house (Tunker House) and the Samuel Kline house.

As the membership of the church increased, the time came to build church houses. Linville Creek was fortunate to have land donated for that purpose in 1825 by Elder John Kline. Three years later the first Linville Creek meeting house was completed. It was a log building, not too large and probably cost about $500. This building served the congregation until 1868 when the second meeting house was constructed. It could seat about 1,000 people and was a very plain building — walls, ceiling and furniture all unpainted. Cost of this building was $2,100 of which $1,200 was available from Elder John Kline’s estate.

Two Annual Meetings (now Annual Conference) have been held at Linville Creek — the first 1837 and again in 1879. Members of the congregation, with help from neighboring congregations, furnished lodging and food for all those who attended.

The third church building was built in 1917 to meet the needs of the congregation for a more modern and convenient church house to accommodate a Sunday School, as well as regular preaching services. The old 1868 building was torn down and much of its lumber was used in the new building which had a brick exterior and cost $6,000. In 1949, a large addition was constructed to provide more Sunday School rooms and a fellowship hall. This newly remodeled building was completely destroyed by fire on November 6, 1954. Immediately plans were developed for a new church building. The new church was completed in time for dedication almost exactly two years after the fire. In 1962, an educational addition with 11 classrooms was added to the west side of the building. Total cost of the 1956 building and the 1962 addition was around $190,000.

Linville Creek Church had a free ministry for over 100 years. In June 1935, Rev. Samuel Lindsay was installed as the first paid part-time pastor of the congregation. On September 1, 1947, Rev. Robert Hoover was installed as our first full-time pastor.  Nathan Hollenberg became the tenth full-time paid pastor of Linville Creek beginning October 19, 2015.

(Taken from “Sharing Our Best” Linville Creek Church of the Brethren youth cookbook – 1996.)

Linville Creek Church of the Brethren offers historic tours of the church for individuals, families, and church groups.

Contact the church office to schedule a tour.