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Country preacher Samuel Black, born in Greenbrier County, March 1813, was a Methodist circuit rider. He traveled through Greenbrier, Clay, Fayette, Nicholas, Webster, and Kanawha counties, spreading the word to more people than most other ministers of his day. Affectionately known as ‘‘Uncle Sam,’’ he organized many congregations and helped build churches with money earned by selling socks and deerskin gloves made by women church members. He was ordained a deacon in 1844 and was a two-time delegate to the general conference from his church. He was also one of the 16 charter members of the West Virginia Methodist Conference. Samuel Black died July 13, 1899.

A white frame structure named Sam Black Church was erected in 1902 in Greenbrier County, in memory of the Reverend Black. His name is written in large letters across the doorway of the building, and today the community is named Sam Black Church. The church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.

Read the National Register of Historic Places nomination for Sam Black Church.

This Article was written by Cathy Hershberger Miller

Last Revised on June 23, 2022


Rice, Otis K. & Stephen W. Brown. West Virginia: A History. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1993.

Comstock, Jim, ed. West Virginia Heritage Encyclopedia vol. 3. Richwood: Jim Comstock, 1976.

West Virginia Writers' Project. West Virginia: A Guide to the Mountain State. New York: Oxford University Press, 1941.

Cite This Article

Miller, Cathy Hershberger "Sam Black." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 23 June 2022. Web. 22 July 2024.


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