Historic NIMMO UMC
A brief history of Nimmo United Methodist Church
Nimmo Church est. 1791
Nimmo United Methodist Church is the oldest Methodist Church in the United States in continuous use. The original building was constructed in 1791 shortly after the land was sold by the Nimmo family to the Methodist Episcopal congregation for a nominal fee, hence the name. It’s not clear how long the original parishioners were organized prior to that time, but Methodist circuit riders (itinerant pastors on horseback) were active in this area by 1784. The church was surrounded by three roads and as such, it was referred to as the “church at the crossroads.” About 1840, the balcony was added as a slave gallery. It survives today as the only remaining structure related to slavery in what was formerly known as Princess Anne County. Church records from that era show that Nimmo had 170 white and 42 “colored” members. Nimmo was often a place for travelers to stop and refresh themselves and their horses at a well on the property. Early in the Civil War, Princess Anne County came under the control of Union forces and the church was used to billet Union troops and as a Federal Hospital. It was left in disrepair. Following the war, renovations, additions, and improvements were made. The freed slaves established and built their own church, Mt. Zion Methodist Episcopal, nearby. It too remains today. In 1989, it was discovered that the church foundation had incurred severe damage. The sanctuary was lifted off its foundation and remained closed for two years while repairs were made to include a new foundation. During that time, the congregation met in the social hall, which is now the education wing. It was with great relief and celebration that the structure survived the lifting and lowering and the congregation could once again worship in their historic and storied sanctuary. For over two centuries, Nimmo has been a landmark for travelers while meeting the spiritual needs of the many parishioners and visitors who have worshiped here. While the sanctuary is indeed historical, so is the unchanging mission of the church – to spread the gospel while making more disciples of Christ.
Nimmo's historical church building is a great place to celebrate the sacrament of marriage with friends and family. Contact us to learn more and schedule today.
The Nimmo Untied Methodist Church Cemetery was established around 1910 on the grounds just west of the historic Nimmo United Methodist church founded in 1791. The Nimmo church building is the oldest still in use Methodist church building in Virginia since 1791.