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The Civil War Years 1862 – 1865

            The first pastor of the congregation, Dr. John Davis, remained as pastor until 1859.  His first wife had died and during his pastorate he married a daughter of Mr. Paul Sieg of Augusta.  His successor, Rev. Dr. D. M. Gilbert, filled the pulpit till 1862 when he accepted a call Savannah, Ga.

            The Rev. J. I. Miller was then called, but the war was going on and when Mr. Miller got as far on his way as Shepherdstown, he was turned back by the Federal Troops.  In 1865, when peace came, the pulpit having been vacant in the meantime, Mr. Miller was able to get here and take charge.  He remained until 1870 when he founded the Staunton Female Seminary.  Dr Gilbert returned from Savannah and resumed his pastorate of the church.

The Death of a Pastor and the Last Service


The Rev. Sidney T. Riser was called as pastor August of 1887 and served until May 25, 1888, the day on which he died.  He was buried in Thornrose Cemetery May 27, 1888.  Rev. Riser was from South Carolina.

 The death of this young pastor was one of the most affecting dispensation this congregation had ever experienced.  In his grave were buried all the dissensions which had troubled it and above it was grown the white flower of peace and brotherly love, which he spent the brief days of his ministry, up to the last minute of his life, in watering and tending.  The last service held in the old church was the funeral of the young pastor.

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