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Old 04-06-2014, 03:16 PM   #1
tastroman OP
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The Bob Childress Rock Church tour. Floyd Va.

Bob Childress (18901956) was a Presbyterian minister who was born in the town of Ararat, Virginia and raised in the Primitive Baptist tradition. He is the founder of the famous "Rock Churches" of Floyd, Patrick and Carroll counties in Virginia.
As a young man he witnessed and was caught up in the violence, alcoholism and ignorance of his impoverished and then isolated Buffalo Mountain community. Upon witnessing a massacre at a court house he vowed to quit drinking and entered law enforcement. Eventually he got married and had children. After a chance visit to a Presbyterian church he began attending regularly and soon realized that he wanted to become a minister. He returned to high school at the age of 30 in the same one room school as his 6 year old son.
After getting a high school diploma he enlisted the help of his local minster to gain entry into the Union Theological Seminary in Richmond Virginia and was ordained a Presbyterian minster in 1926. Bob has long passed but the rock churches he built still stand. Today I set out to visit all 5.
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Old 04-06-2014, 03:25 PM   #2
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The 1st stop along the way would be Slate Mountain Presbyterian Church. With today being Sunday, services were being held and I must say gauging by the cars in the parking lot the churches still have very active congregations.







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Old 04-06-2014, 03:30 PM   #3
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If you listen closely you can hear the songs of the mountains probably much like how it sounded in 1929.

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tastroman screwed with this post 04-06-2014 at 04:31 PM
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Old 04-06-2014, 03:39 PM   #4
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Next it was on to Buffalo Mountain Presbyterian Church. Bob and is wife are buried in the cemetery across the road from the church.






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Old 04-06-2014, 03:48 PM   #5
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While taking pictures outside of the church I was asked twice to come inside and join the congregation for lunch. While I did not take the offer, I did take the opportunity to step inside and take a few pictures.











Hanging in the entrance is a picture of Bob Childress.

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tastroman screwed with this post 04-06-2014 at 04:36 PM
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Old 04-06-2014, 03:58 PM   #6
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It was time to move on but on the way out, I passed a small rock spring house that once supplied water to the church and the school house adjacent to the church.






Here's the schoolhouse that sits behind the church.

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Old 04-06-2014, 04:06 PM   #7
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Next it was on to Dinwiddie Presbyterian Church just outside of Hillsville Va.




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Old 04-06-2014, 04:11 PM   #8
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Then it was on to Bluemont Presbyterian Church located off of The Blue Ridge Parkway, just east of Orchard Gap.




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Old 04-06-2014, 04:18 PM   #9
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The last stop of the day would be Mayberry Presbyterian Church.



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Old 04-06-2014, 04:25 PM   #10
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The route consisted of a mix of 70% paved and 30% well groomed gravel. Hitting all 5 created a nice loop which could be done in 3 hours if you want to just ride by and 4-5 if you want to stop and walk around. I must say it was a very pleasant ride through some of the best terrain Virginia has to offer.
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tastroman screwed with this post 04-06-2014 at 04:38 PM
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Old 04-06-2014, 05:41 PM   #11
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I gotta do this sometime.
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Old 04-06-2014, 07:17 PM   #12
Am.E
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Pretty neat, thanks for posting this. Looking forward to replicating it for a nice day ride sometime. Great idea.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:54 PM   #13
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Looks like you had a good ride. Nice to see them all well maintained and being used as they were intended.
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Old 04-07-2014, 02:39 PM   #14
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For local riders interested in making this day ride and are GPSless like myself here is the route I took which really gives a nice taste of what this region has to offer.

From Meadows of Dan head north on the Parkway
. R on 758
. L on 726 (rock church rd) Slate Mountain Church will be on the left.

From here backtrack to the parkway

. L on Parkway
. R on 758 (buffalo mtn rd)
. when rd splits, stay rt.
. L 629 (long mtn rd)
. L 628 (rock church rd) Buffalo Mountain Church will be on the left.

From the church take l on 626, the gravel rd just past the church

. L on 627
. at stop sign turn L and continue on 627 (adams branch rd)
. R on 638 (Dugspur rd)
. at stop sign, L on 221
. R on rt 100
. R on 783
. R on 752 (mitchells mtn rd)
. R on 750 Dinwiddie Church will be on the left.

From here backtrack to 221


. Once at 221 go straight across to 669
. R on 668 (Cavalier rd)
. L on 58 east
. R on 670
. R on 677
. L on Parkway

Just past Orchard Gap

Bluemont Church will be on the rt

Continue north on the Parkway

. After crossing Mayberry Creek turn R on 634
. L on 602 Mayberry Church is up the rd on your left.

take the Parkway north to return to Meadows of Dan
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tastroman screwed with this post 04-07-2014 at 02:52 PM
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Old 04-08-2014, 05:09 AM   #15
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Nice ride and report, thanks!
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