Sunday, May 25, 2014

Church Record Sunday: Dedication of Woodbine Baptist Church

Alexandria Gazette
July 12, 1875

CHURCH DEDICATION.  The absence of Rev. Mr. Penick from his pulpit yesterday morning was due to his participation in the dedication services of a Baptist Church, in Prince William Co., Va. A friend, who was present at the dedication, gives us the following notes on the day:  Along with a number of Manassas citizens, we left for the church soon after the arrival of the Virginia Midland train.  The drive was on the road to Dumfries -- the point of destination being six and a half miles to the southeast of the junction, in the herat of the "Terrapin Forest."  The ride was enlivened by the company of Maj. Whiting, who is, by the way, spoken of for the Legislature.  Not being one of his possible voters, his attentions were not open to the electioneering taint of suspicion.  Being the august Mayor of the day, his presence kept good order on the journey, appropos of which, it may be thrown in that our old friend, Agent Fewell, told us the Corporation was doint an encouraging business, frequently gathering a revenue uof from forty to fifty dollars per week from fines, and that they had even risen to the dignity of a watch house.  There is probably enough enterprise among the Terrapin Foresters to keep up this institution.  This morning's ride brought us, about 11:00 a.m., to a neat frame edifice, bearing over the door the inscription,


Already within the house a mass of humanity, chiefly ladies, crowded each other in a  perfect jam.  With the exception of a few in and around the pulpit, the men were assembled at the door and the windows, or grouped within hearing, about their horses, vehicles and ___ baskets.

An impressive sermon by Rev. Mr. Penick was followed by a stirring effort to "raise the balance due," which was very nearly accomplished, and the service concluded with the dedicatory prayer.  "The stranger within the gates" could not but notice the order and decorum, as well as the general attention paid by the audience.  The novelty of the scene to unaccustomed eyes brought out much that was interesting.  The speaker, thus addressing a large crowd which included many juveniles, "too young to leave their mothers," (or be left) had evidently "been," for the various infantile outbreaks of glee or woe seemed not to disturb him in the least.

At the dinner intermission it was made plain that "Terrapin Forest" had something to live to and was peopled by hospitable folks.  After a satisfactory experience of this fact, there was a brief sermon from the same speaker, after which our party took the road again, making Manassas in good time for the train homeward.

[The Roadside Thoughts website notes that Terrapin Forest does not appear in the 1895 Rand McNally Atlas but Canova/Woodbine is located two miles to the northwest of the Terrapin Forest's present-day location. ~cgl]

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