Earlehurst Christian Church is one of Virginia's abandoned buildings

Cheryl E Preston
Earlehurst Christian Church has been abandoned.Photo byAbandoned Screenshot

Abandoned churches in Virginia are becoming a trend

If you grew up attending a rural church in Virginia you may recall a clapboard building with an outhouse and no indoor plumbing. There may have been a coal stove because there was no electric or gas heat source. Perhaps your congregation obtained the funds to tear down the old edifice and erect a new building but in Virginia, many churches like Earlehurst Christian Church have been abandoned.

Earlehurst is an unincorporated locality in Alleghany County, and the church that bears its name is one of a number of abandoned buildings in the Commonwealth that used to house a congregation but now sits empty. Highway improvements in 1926 led to the church being moved from its original location. In 1980 Earlehurst Christian Church closed its doors and until recently was used as a storage building for a local landowner.

Interior of Earlehurst abandoned church.Photo byAbandoned screenshot

Abandoned church buildings are used for many purposes

The church's closure reflects the decline of many rural churches in America because of a decline in rural populations, changes in religious practices and beliefs, shifts in social structures and values, and the aging of rural congregations.

In the image, you can see what looks like an outhouse in the back left of the Earlehurst Christian Church building. There is no record of what happened to the congregation so more than likely they got older, became homebound, and passed away with no younger generation to keep things going or build a new facility. Sadly this is becoming the fate of a growing number of Virginia church congregations. The buildings are being repurposed and rebranded for varied reasons.

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I am a native Virginian who writes, about breaking news, nutrition, history, celebrities, and current events that are of interest to those living in the Commonwealth.

Roanoke, VA

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