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Monday, August 7, 2017

Historic marker commemorates Lincolnia church

Crowd gathers for historic marker unveiling at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church.
Mount Pleasant Baptist Church has sustained the African-American community of Lincolnia for 150 years.

That milestone was commemorated Aug. 5 with the unveiling of a new historic marker established by the Fairfax County History Commission
Bishop Carroll Baltimore Sr.
The marker, on Lincolnia Road by Columbia Pike, states: “Mount Pleasant Baptist Church was founded in 1867 during post-Civil War Reconstruction. Freedmen were given one acre of land for religious and educational purposes and a burying ground for colored people.”

“The first church was a one-room wooden structure built by individuals using lumber provided by the Freedmen’s Bureau,” the marker continues. “A subsequent wooden structure was built ca. 1881 and was replaced by a Depression-era brick church in 1931. This structure was later renamed the Pinkett and Sheppard Memorial Chapel after two former pastors. The church played a vital role in the Mount Pleasant community where freedmen settled, many of whom were farmers.”

“Church for black folk was everything,” said Bishop Carroll Baltimore Sr. before the unveiling in a rousing sermonic message during a service commemorating the church’s 150th anniversary. When he first came to Mount Pleasant in 1972, “that was when church was church,” he said. “This was a shouting church” where worshipers sometimes fainted.

Those closest to the sign are, from the left: Del. Vivian Watts, Supervisor Penny Gross, Mount Pleasant Pastor Carl Johnson, and Bishop Carroll Baltimore Sr.
When a new addition was built 40 years ago, the older members of the congregation cried; they didn’t want to leave the old, smaller chapel, he said, because people felt the spirit of their ancestors there.

Baltimore recounted the events that happened in 1867, the year Mount Pleasant was founded. Among them: It was the beginning of Reconstruction, a federal law was passed allowing blacks to vote in Washington, D.C., blacks cast ballots for the first time (in Tennessee), and Howard University was founded in D.C.

“A church may be identified by a building, but a church really is the people,” said Mason Supervisor Penny Gross, noting that the late Rev. Sidney Holland introduced her to the Mount Pleasant community. “The history of Fairfax County is in the churchyard.” 

The theme of the church’s 150th anniversary is “Celebrate our legacy, anticipate our possibilities.”

Mount Pleasant has scheduled several other events in connection with this milestone, including a special anniversary service on Aug. 10, a cemetery tour on Aug. 17, a concert on Aug. 31, and a gala on Sept. 9.


  1. They need to do something about all the illegal parking on Sundays around this church. Not sure why the police turn a blind eye to it.

    1. We should all be lucky they have been here for 150 years, instead of the crap carpet baggers from another land sacking our community. This church deserves our allegiance as a stalwart neighbor and contributor to the cultural history of Mason. I am proud that they are here and parking illegally. At least their cars have legal VA tags, they don't have white vans and they leave the place clean after their parish activities.

    2. Parking along Lincolnia in spots along that stretch is perfectly legal. There are "no parking" signs where it is prohibited.

  2. congratulations . The church and congregation are significant assets in the Mason community. And I don't give a good fudge about where they park.