|Prince William County|
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
From the newspaper article of Thursday, October 10, 1935 in the The Manassas Journal
HISTORY OF BELLE-HAVEN CHURCH - - by James Luck, Jr., edited; with a footnote from R.C. Woolfenden
The first warm spring Sunday afternoon of 1885, three young ladies went for a walk down the old Belfair Mill road from Ben Murphy's, Anna DeWitt, Annie Murphy and Lizzie DeWitt. The Holmes school Christmas tree came in for comment. Said one, "Why can't we have Sunday School and preaching in our new schoolhouse?" W. B. Lynn rides in to the picture and the girls put the proposition up to him. Sure the house was built by the people for the people, go ahead. But a minister? Mr. Lynn was sure Mr. Lieber, a retired Methodist minister living about 2 1/2 or 3 miles south of the new schoolhouse would be glad to speak to them when he could. So the request was sent and Mr. Lieber preached the first sermon at what was to be Belle-Haven Baptist Church.
During this summer of 1885, W. B. Lynn's brother, A. T. Lynn, but recently joined the Baptist Church in Alexandria, came to visit W. B. and heard of the little schoolhouse and what was being done around his birthplace. He made an appointment and began to preach regularly in the new schoolhouse. Thomas and Isabelle Woolfenden offered an acre of land across the road for a church. Miss Ella V. Weedon, the teacher at Holmes' school, took up the idea. After some work among the neighbors, she got them to have an oyster supper Thanksgiving night at Mr. Woolfenden's and so the first money for the church to be was raised. In November 1885 Rev. Lynn baptized Mr. and Mrs. Robert A. Abel and Francis Jones. Ruth E. Glascock, Margaret A. Wright and Anna E. DeWitt were received by experience, a total of six persons.
December 20, 1885, Rev. Lynn called a council of ministers and deacons at the little schoolhouse. After due examination, those six people were organized into a regular Baptist church, to quote the record. They called Rev. A. T. Lynn as their pastor. Mrs. W. B. Lynn suggested that as Isabelle Woolfenden had given a part of her home place for the church, it be named "Belle's Home" and so Belle-Haven Church was born and christened.
A church building has been started. During June 1886 Margaret Abel, John Carter, Sr., Mary Carter; in July Annie M. Jones and Georgia A. Jones; in September Lewis E. Jones and in October Laura Lunsford and Nannie Lunsford were received into the church by baptism. These were called together for a business meeting Saturday before the second Lord's Day in November 1886. They elected Robert A. Abel and John Carter, sr., Deacons and L. E. Jones as Clerk, and called Rev. A. T. Lynn as Pastor for the coming year and the record is continuous from then on until 1915 when meetings for business seem to have become irregular and were mostly called meetings. In these first 50 years, 178 persons were received into the church. The high tide came about 1912 or 1914 when there were 77 names on the roll
In its first fifty years Belle-Haven had 8 pastors: Rev. A. T. Lynn, 1885 to Dec. 1889; Rev. A. J. Cummings, 1889 to Dec. 1914; Rev. R. P. Riley, 1915 to April 1917; Rev. B. Grimsley, June 1, 1917 to summer 1918; Rev. J. A. Golihue, Aug. 1918 no record when he left; Rev. C. W. Storke, supplied during 1922; Rev. Noel J. Allen, Feb. 1923 to Oct. 1930; Rev. J. M. Taylor, Nov. 1930 and our present pastor.
Six men were licensed to preach the Gospel, according to Baptist tradition, by this church. They were: Norman Luck, licensed August 1890; Arthur Taylor, September 1891; W. E. Lowe, April 1894; J. Murray Taylor, May, 1894; C. W. Storke, April 1910, and James Luck, Sr., Jan 1894 and whose work ended in April 1917.
Belle Haven Missionary Baptist Church would cease to exist because of the military expansion after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. In October of 1942 the U.S. Navy Department began seizing an additional 50,000 acres to expand the Marine Corps base at Quantico, Virginia. Farms, schools, churches and stores were all seized, without prior notice, and the population moved as the Marine Corps began using the land, in many cases, while families were still in their homes and livestock still in the fields. Belle Haven Missionary Baptist Church was paid $3,000.00 dollars for their acre of ground and building. The Marine Corps would later bulldoze the building, claiming that it was unsafe. However, the cemetery would remain with a promise from the Marine Corps that it would maintain the cemetery. As of October, 2014, Belle Haven Missionary Baptist Church is one of five cemeteries that remain active aboard the Marine Corps Base. The last business meeting of the church would be in 1945 at Independent Hill, Virginia, just outside of the expanded base, as near to the old church as was possible.