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A Brief History by Robert K. Spencer

In 1773 the old Lewis Meeting House, just west of Charlottesville, was the center for the Baptist work in early Albemarle County.  It was from a branch of this work that activity in Scottsville sprang in 1840, the same year       Lottie Moon was born.  Anna and Edward H. Moon, Lottie's parents, were leaders of the newly organized church in Scottsville. 

By 1842 the church had 49 members and had S.B. Rice as its first pastor.  Three years later, Joseph H. Fox was pastor, and interestingly enough, in 1849 there were 240 members, of whom 119 were white and 130 were black.  In 1855 the Sunday School and the church were flourishing with Peter C. Hoge as pastor.  In a very unsettled period beginning in 1860, J. A. Doll, Charles Wingfield, and R. Baker Boatwright all preached briefly at Scottsville.  During four dark years of civil war, there was no minister and the church almost disorganized.  The church building was used at that time, not as a hospital, as some have said, but as a hospice or shelter for the wounded.  But somehow during this bleak period the Sunday School had survived notably. 

In the years following the Civil War, pastors changed rapidly: 1868, J. C. Long; 1871, J.T. Patterson; 1878, W. C.  Hall; 1882, John T. Lynch; and 1883, W. W. Wood. In 1887, J .R. Daniel became pastor and served for a long satisfying period until 1906. 

The church took on a new vitality when, in 1908, Leslie H. Walton became pastor.  This man was interested in all public affairs, especially education. The Scottsville church was one of a field of four at this time.  H. Lee Scott became pastor in 1924 and served for three years. 

Scottsville Baptists were alive and well when Oscar E. Northen began his long, successful ministry as pastor in 1927.  Under his leadership the church continued to thrive and many developments took place, including remodeling the church in 1930. 

The 100th anniversary of Scottsville Baptist Church was celebrated on Sunday, July 7, 1940, and with this began what many have called the "Golden Era" of the church, which was to continue for the next two decades.  Charles A. Morgan, Jr. became pastor in 1944, and with his love for music, was instrumental in having an electric organ installed and organizing a large choir. The church decided to build a modern parsonage (the present one) in 1952, the same year that John P. Elliott, Jr., was called as pastor of the three churches on the field at that time.  At Scottsville there were three active circles of Woman's Missionary Union, an energetic Royal Ambassadors chapter, a vital Girls' Auxiliary group, a Young Women's Auxiliary and a Baptist Training Union. 

The 50's saw many physical improvements to the church and grounds, including the addition of parking lots.  With an attendance of 150-175 at Sunday School, more classroom space was needed, so in 1957 the purchase of the Hill/Dunn property and house next to the churchyard provided a useful annex.  The building of a new baptistry behind the pulpit was the main feature of the 1959 remodeling. 

Under Reverend Elliott's leadership, the church became full-time with services every Sunday in 1961. Church membership was then well over 300. 

In the period between 1964 and 1967, a new two-storied multi-purpose Educational Building was built adjoining the church. The new facility made possible an expanded youth program which saw development over the next few years. 

The late 60's through 70's and 80's saw pastorships of Rudolph Ramsey (1968-69), and Paul de Vries (1971- 76), H. Ed Nicholson (Interim 1976-78), and James Jetton (1978-87), each one unique in his ministry as he felt led by God and took up the task.  With so many aspects of life changing, it was a definite challenge to lead a church and people in the past two decades.  An air-conditioned sanctuary, cushioned pews, and new carpeting were among the physical traits of progress; the spiritual growth and influence are impossible to measure. 

In 1987, Mark E. King became pastor accepting the challenge of breathing new life into an old established church which had experienced momentary discord and set-back but which had not lost its clear sense of purpose, mission and service. Mark nobly led in a period of healing and adjustment, and in August 1990, "the Church on the Hill" was able to celebrate its Sesquicentennial with a homecoming and historic pageant. 

Michael S. Lee was called to lead in October 1994 and was ordained by the church for his first pastorate.  Mike placed emphasis on discipleship and the strengthening of the Sunday School, the Church Council, and church mem­bership and community relations. While he was pastor, Mike earned his Doctor of Ministry Degree from Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond.

For the next two years after Dr. Lee left, the church was fortunate to have the services as Interim Minister of Dr. Jeff Cranford of the Virginia Baptist Mission Board.  In addition, Dr. Cranford led the general membership and church officers in a self-study and planning for the future.

On July 13, 2008, the Reverend Israel Maxwell, a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, and a fourth-generation minister, became the pastor of Scottsville Baptist Church.  He and his wife April, a special education teacher and former missionary, had just moved into the parsonage and were eager to begin a new field of ministry here.

On September 12, 2010, Dr. William Smith was called to serve as Interim Pastor.

The 170th Anniversary of Scottsville Baptist Church was celebrated on Sunday, October 3, 2010.  The "Church on the Hill” is always mission-minded and having strong community ties, continues to be a beacon seeking to light the way to Christ’s Kingdom here and hereafter.