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Church celebrates milestone

Having a church that people in the early 1800s could attend without crossing the Appomattox River was one reason the Farmville Presbyterian Church was first built in 1828. However, it was not officially chartered as a Presbyterian church until 1844.

Now, 175 years later, the current and past members of Farmville Presbyterian Church gathered at the church Sunday to celebrate its history.

Families, friends and loved ones took part in a service in the morning, followed by a generous luncheon afterward.

Farmville Presbyterian Church’s milestone received resolutions from the Town of Farmville and Presbytery of the Peaks, the Presbyterian network in Central and Southside Virginia that spans 122 churches.

Edward Kromer, a member of the Farmville Presbyterian Church since 1947, spoke about the history the church experienced.

This included holding services for federal troops around the time General Robert E. Lee surrendered in Appomattox, which marked the end of the Civil War. When President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, records cite the church held a memorial service.

In addition, during the Great Fire in Farmville of 1898, which according to records from the church destroyed a significant portion of the town, the Farmville Presbyterian Church did not burn.

Kromer said the church could experience some challenges in the future, but that the church has already overcome challenges throughout its history.

Ann Morton Neale is the great-great-great granddaughter of Nathaniel E. Venable, Jacob Woodson Morton and Mary Jane (Venable) Morton, who were among the more than 40 charter members of Farmville Presbyterian Church.

Ann Morton Neale attended the celebration Sunday with her daughters Elizabeth Neale and Ann-Morton Holladay Neale Tice.

“We think it’s really cool,” Ann Morton Neale said about the anniversary celebration. Like many in the congregation, she was baptized and married at Farmville Presbyterian Church.

“It’s really nice to get people here together,” she said.