BRETHREN-L ArchivesArchiver > BRETHREN > 2005-09 > 1126302158
From: "Emmert F. Bittinger" <>
Subject: Re: [BRE] Re: Daleville
Date: Fri, 9 Sep 2005 17:42:38 -0400
Regarding the "New Amsterdam" settlement, Botetourt County Settlement, and
the Daleville Congregation in Virginia.
We have just had a good discussion about the problems of identifying
congregations by name, and the dangers of applying present day
conceptualizations of church organization on the situation in the 1800s.
Waynes communication today and reference to Daleville being "founded" in
1912 is another good example of these problems.
Daleville Brethren go back to the 1790s, and they have held services in
that community ever since that time. Sappington's wonderful history of the
Brethren in Virginia names the many families that came at that time.
Brethren did not begin generally to build meetinghouses until around
1820s (a few before). They worshipped in each other's homes and preferred
that to meeting in churches. They regarded the members as "family" and were
vere community minded.
New Amsterdam later was called the Botetourt Church and only in the last
Century as "Daleville." It became a large and powerful community of
Brethren, large enough to establish a school, later developing into
"Daleville College." It later united with Bridgewater College
Unfortunately, most 20th century local church histories have no concept
any more of this early period, and they tend to begin the histories of their
local churches with the building of the church house, not realizing that a
lot went on before that, including the fact that they often were not
included in Brethren church lists because they were part of a "mother
The center of the "Botetourt County Congregation" was the "Old Valley
meetinghouse" in Daleville, built about 1851. From this mother
congregation, Brethren preachers went forth in different directions
establishing preaching points. By the end of the 1800s, there were 20
different places of worship (not all having buildings), and gradually over
the years, they became independant.
Obviously what we call Daleville today, has a deep and magnificant
history. Part of problem of learning about it is we think differently
today. A whole series of name changes, and lines of affiliation obscure the
past, and make it mysterious even to the trained historian.
Incidentally, since Dr. Durnbaugh's death has not been noted, and the
Bre. Ency. has been discussed, it is worth remembering that Durnbaugh was
the chief Editor and organizer of the entire project, and devoted thousands
of hours of labor. As far as I know, nearly all of that labor was free and
unpaid. Although Durnbaugh's death was entirely unexpected, remember he was
nearly 80. Judging by my own case, you "slow down" in your later years. So,
maybe we should be a bit more forgiving and cut the living and the dead a
Emmert F. Bittinger
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, September 09, 2005 8:10 AM
Subject: [BRE] Re: Virginia
> In a message dated 9/9/2005 12:35:36 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
> Reference the discussions about Brethren activity in
> Virginia. Has anyone found anything about a group in "Daleville"?
> Mr. Gibson,
> I just completed an issue that has a brief note about Daleville.
> B.A. Hadsell mentions that on his trip "back east" that he made a stop
> and visited with the Brethren at Daleville. No particulars were given but
> thought it interesting when checking BE that the congregation was not
> founded until 1912 some thirty years later.
> Mr. Honeyman reports that this was most probably Burgess A. Hadsell
> connections with the Glendale, Arizona group of Brethren.
> Brethren Roots Newsletter Editor
> Fellowship of Brethren Genealogists: Homepage
> Visit my web site at:
> Montgomery County, Ohio Research Services
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