Hobson's Chapel History

A brief history of Hobson's Chapel

        On 5 September 1842, Zenas Maxey of Powhatan County deeded two acres and ten perches of land located on the Buckingham Road for a "house or place of worship for the use of the members of the Methodist Episcopal Church of the United States of America". Trustees of the Church included Benjamin Hobson of Powhatan County and the rest from present Sunnyside in Cumberland County: Robert G. Loving, John D. Garrett, John Bransford, Robert Goodman, Horace Hobson, William A. Frayser, Thomas W. Crowder and Thomas A. Goodman.
        Hobson's Chapel, located just east of the Cumberland County line, was so named from its long association with the Hobson family. John Hobson, Jr., in particular offered the first circuit-riding ministers a haven of refuge from their travel at his home "Obscurity." Benjamin Hobson is said to have been most generous in building the Chapel.
        In 1935, Horace E. Cromer, then pastor of the Farmville Methodist Charge, wrote: "By the side of a highway ... stands a Methodist meeting house and a small burying ground ... the oldest of the Methodist meeting houses in this area. It is known today as Hobson's Chapel." He concluded his thoughts by saying, "in its pulpit, by the side of its open graves, have stood the same hardy, rugged spokesmen ... demanding that these ancient pioneers direct their movements along that highway, the end of which is life everlasting."
        With the exception of the addition of Sunday school rooms in the 1970s, relatively little has changed on the grounds of this old "Methodist meeting house." Numerous furnishings have been given in memory of beloved members of the congregation by their families and friends. There have also been improvements to the sanctuary, including installation of a heating and cooling system and completion of refinishing the pine floors, as well as to the exterior, including the placement of a lighted church sign. The Church holds Sunday school weekly, supports two youth groups and has plans for Vacation Bible School. For the past several years, the members of the congregation have performed a live nativity at Christmas. In these and other ways, Hobson's Chapel continues it long history of service to God. Its ministry is one of love for the Lord and for the members of its congregation and community.

Nancy Page Hurt Clark

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