The Lord willing I will attempt to write concerning the history, the present and what we desire and hope for the future of Little Hope Primitive Baptist Church. I will take the history from the church records and minutes, and write of the present as we have been blessed to see it in the days we are now living. As for the future, God only knows but we hope by an eye of faith, He has given us to believe, that with His blessing, this can continue to be a place where His people can meet to speak of His goodness and mercy and contend for the doctrine our forefathers believed so deeply. For He will not leave Himself without a witness.
In the early 1900's a small group of people met together in a grove of trees in Cove Hollow to worship and praise God. Cove Hollow is located in the counties of Montgomery and Roanoke. The place of this meeting was on the far western edge of Roanoke county, then known as Lafayette, Virginia.
On the 31st day of July, 1911 a parcel of land was deeded by and between W.B. Lawrence and Sara Lawrence, party of the first part and F.J.V. Poff, J.W. Conner, A.B. Lawrence, J.W. McDaniel and J.B. Hilton, Trustees of the Primitive Baptist Church of Lafayette, Virginia, also known as Old School Baptist, Predestinarian Baptist and their successors forever, holding and believing the doctrine of predestination, election, final preservation of the saints to glory and worshiping God in the old and simple time honored way, unmixed with the religious practices of modern times, such as Sunday schools, instrumental music in church, modern mission system of sending paid missionaries among unwilling people who will not support them and the minority, thus holding and practicing shall not be devested of their property rights, parties of the second part. This deed is recorded in the clerk's office of Roanoke County. I am glad and hope thankful this deed was worded and recorded the way it was, as long as one believes this doctrine, they can not be devested of their property rights.
The year this deed was made these people built a small church building on this land. They then called a presbytery of elders to meet with them at their new church house to examine and constitute them into a church, if found qualified.
On Saturday before the fourth Sunday in October 1911 the following Elders and Deacon met with them. Elders Peter Corn, H.V. Cole, B.V. Jessie and J.C. Hurst and Deacon Walker Claypton which members organized themselves into a presbytery with Elder Peter Corn, moderator and Elder J.C. Hurst, clerk. The presbytery called for all who wish to be examined to assemble themselves apart from the world. Wherefore, F.J.V. Poff, John W. Conner, Peter E. Hill, and J.B. Hylton, together with MamieA. Hill, Mary Poff, Mary E. Conner, and S. Addie Lawrence, so assembled. The body chose F.J.V. Poff their spokesman and were examined by the moderator on the Primitive Baptist articles of faith, doctrine and practice which articles were substantially the same as the London confession of faith. After careful and thorough examination it was moved and seconded and carried by unanimous vote of the presbytery that they be hereby declared a duly constituted church of the Primitive Baptist faith and order, which are sometimes called and known as Old School or Predestinarian Baptist. The church then held her first meeting and called Elder B.V. Jessie by unanimous vote to serve as their pastor. Elder Jessie accepted. She then agreed that the name of the church should be "Little Hope". Brethern J.B. Hylton and J.W. Conner were chosen deacons and delivered to the presbytery for examination and ordination if found qualified. Elder Cole was chosen by the presbytery to lead in questions. He used the scripture qualifications recorded in Timothy as his basis of questions. The Deacons were found qualified and ordained to the full functions of deaconship by the laying on of hands of the presbytery and prayer by Elder J.C. Hurst and given charge by Elder Peter Corn. The church appointed F.J.V. Poff, church clerk and ElderJ.C. Hurst and Brother C.M. Turner, required by the church to draw articles of faith to be submitted to the church for Her approval.
The following Elders have served as. pastor, B.V. Jessie, John D. Wood, J. Otie Conner, Julius Bocock, Lane Carter, and the writer is now trying to serve them. I feel to be the least of all if one at all.
In our conference meeting May 1997, the church agreed to build a new meeting house. We knew this would be impossible without the blessing of the Lord, we are small in membership and had little in financial funds, but ! the interest of some of the members and friends was great and the Lord blessed us to see the building completed. We held our first meeting in the new building on Saturday before the fourth Sunday in February 1998. We also held a special meeting on March 28, 1998, to dedicate the building. My prayer is that this will be a house of prayer and worship, that our children and grandchildren may be blessed to worship and praise God here for many generations.
We invite all that love God to come and worship with us. The address is: 7424 Cove Hollow Rd, Elliston, VA, which is 1 1/2 miles off US 11, about eight miles west of Salem, VA, and four miles off Interstate 81 south of Salem.
Written by request of the church in conference July 25, 1998, to be submitted to the Signs of the Times for print if found worthy.
Written by Junior Conner
Junior Conner, Moderator
Lawrence Myers, Clerk
Signs of the Times Vol. 166, No. 10 - October 1998
page 224 - 226