Today, it is difficult for us to even imagine the hardships faced by Virginians during the months and years following the Civil War. During the war, Union troops had occupied Stafford County for many months on several occasions. Soldiers encamped here had foraged for food and supplies. Farms had been raided or destroyed, and homes and churches had been burned. Many of Stafford's strong young men had either been killed in battle or confined to prisoner of war camps. Those men fortunate enough to return home, and those who had suffered through the ravages of war on the home front, had to begin the difficult task of rebuilding their lives, their homes, and their community. In such times, when faith in God is all that is left, God's people are often drawn closer to Him. It was in the midst of these desperate times that Ramoth Baptist Church was born.
Walter R.D. Moncure
Ramoth's Founding Pastor
Walter R.D. Moncure, a young man not yet thirty years old, became a leader who, with God's help, would help his home community rebuild their lives. He had seen firsthand the hardships of war as a chaplain in the 30th Virginia Infantry, which was made up of local men. Now back home again, and already pastor of nearby Berea Baptist Church, Moncure and members of his family and community, with the backing of the Potomac Baptist Association, met together to organize Ramoth Baptist Church on October 8, 1866. Meetings began at the old Salem Schoolhouse on Mountain View Road. The people of the community responded and soon the congregation began to grow.
According to the records of the Potomac Baptist Association, Ramoth's membership had grown to 44 people by 1869, with a Sunday School enrollment of 135. By this date, the original church building had been erected. According to our traditions and oral history, the oak foundation timbers were hand hewn by James and Stanton Embrey and hauled to the site by Alexander Reid using a team of oxen. Thomas Wine trimmed out the cornerstones. Our old sanctuary is still supported by these cornerstones and timbers.
Ramoth continued to grow and reach out to the community. Local newspapers wrote about a "protracted meeting" in September 1886. Scheduled for one week, it lasted two. Crowds were so large that people found it necessary to come early to get a good seat, or any seat at all! Many nights, two-thirds of the people in attendance had to either sit or stand outside and listen through the windows! Over forty professions of faith were reported during these meetings alone. In 1888, fourteen members of Ramoth helped organize Hull's Memorial Baptist Church. In 1907, four members of Ramoth were among the group that organized Mt. Ararat Baptist Church.
Ramoth Baptist Church
As Ramoth continued to grow, additions to the original building were built in 1957 and 1975. To meet the needs of our church in modern times, ground was broken for a large addition in 1994. After moving into new Sunday School rooms and a larger Fellowship Hall downstairs in 1996, the new sanctuary upstairs was completed thanks to the dedicated work of the men of the church, who gave selflessly of their time, effort and talent. Our new sanctuary was dedicated in November 1998.
As our community grows and changes, and new members and new generations continue to worship and serve at Ramoth, we continue to cherish the memories of those who have served God at Ramoth for over 144 years; and they continue to serve as Godly examples as we strive to serve God in today's world.
Ramoth Baptist Church
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perserverence the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith." - - Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV)