On Sundays in 1730, in the Little Fork of the Hazel and Rappahannock rivers, people started gathering together for worship and fellowship. It was called a Chapel of Ease. A quiet place to rest, reflect, and recharge. To communicate and commune. Members of the Little Fork congregation were members of the Culpeper Minute Men who heeded Patrick Henry’s call to arms in 1775.
A remarkable brick church arose on Peter Bowmer’s property in 1776 after fire claimed the two previous wooden buildings. An architectural treasure and a monument to survival, Little Fork Church endures. Soldiers came and went during the Civil War, using the pews, pulpit, and most furniture for firewood. Years of neglect followed, but there have always been people faithful to her heritage like Margaret Lewis Dyer, retired 3-Star General Andrew J. Boyle, Welly Hopkins, Angus Green, and others from neighboring St. Stephens in Culpeper, who rallied round. They led the fundraising and supervised the three year restoration from 1976-1979.
Walk through the door. You’ll feel them. Generations of neighbors whose names you may not yet know, reach out to you in welcome. The prayers of decades have painted these walls. Songs of praise reverberate in the hand-hewn beams. The lights of long gone candles still reflect in the tall glass windows.
And through all the trials of the past, Little Fork Church is still here. Because we need shelter from the storm, the love of family, a special place to give thanks, to pray, and worship. To reflect, remember and reaffirm, LOVE... Some people may never see it, if they don’t see it in us.