Thomas Slave Chapel

Historical Significance

Using dendrochronology, the wood used in the construction of the Thomas Slave Chapel was dated to the postbellum era, around 1876. The chapel was built to provide a place of worship for formerly enslaved African Americans. It remains one of the few known surviving slave chapels in Virginia, retaining much of its structural integrity. The chapel is now used for special events.

The African American Heritage Preservation Foundation began investigating the historical significance of the chapel in 1996, working to save the building from destruction under the threat of rezoning. In June 2000, the National Trust for Historic Preservation designated the Thomas Slave Chapel as an official project under the Save America's Treasures Program. In 2002, the Friends of the Thomas Slave Chapel rehabilitated the Chapel to its current condition. 

Physical Description

The Thomas Slave Chapel is a single-room, log structure with an adjacent slave cemetery.

Geographical and Contact Information

Thomas Slave Chapel Foundation, Inc.
Ruth English Johnson
2177 McGhee Street
Bedford, Virginia
24523-4433
Phone: 540-586-9316

Cite this Page:

Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, “Thomas Slave Chapel,” African American Historic Sites Database, accessed August 23, 2017, http://aahistoricsitesva.org/items/show/437.

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