top of page

About Our Church:

Early Beginnings 


Revival was taking place in Louisa and Albermarle counties, during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Elder John Poindexter, clerk for Louisa County and a Baptist minister, was a guiding force for revival in Louisa County during this time. The revival spirit was continued in the Goshen Association by Elder James Fife. John Goss was a guiding force for revival in the Albermarle Association. Baptist work began in the area called Mechanicsville, west of Louisa on the Jefferson Highway, as a result of the preaching of Poindexter and Fife.

The congregation, constituted in 1828, was first named Free Union and was composed of Louisa County families such as Cowherd, Fielding, Goodman, Reynolds, Bragg, Quarles, Vests, and Michie. They shared a frame building with several denominations, on the opposite side of the road from the present Mechanicsville Church. The land for the original church was donated by Captain John Quarles and, today, is the the site of a cemetery for Free Union Church. Services were conducted on the first Sunday of each month and Elder fife assisted in preaching until a pastor could be found. John Goss became the first pastor of Free Union in 1829, while also serving several other churches, including Blue Run. The Goshen Association minutes report a membership of 33 for Free Union Church, in 1829, and it then became part of the Goshen Association. By 1838, the church reported 173 members. In 1832, Free Union had a Domestic Missionary Society and a Temperance Society. In 1833, it was reported that they had a Sunday School Tract Society.

After a decade of decline, from 1839-1849, the congregation moved into the present sanctuary in 1850, with a membership of 168. At that time, the name of the church was changed from Free Union to Mechanicsville to correspond with the name of the area.

The church continued to grow and by 1856, there was a membership of 262, made up of 114 white members and 148 African American members. There were both slave and free African American members. The names of the slaves were recorded under the names of their owners, such as “Captain Lindsay’s Nancy” and “Mrs. Quarles’ Eliza”. In 1866, the African American members began a church across the road, at the old site of Free Union and called their fellowship Free Union.

bottom of page