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A BRIEF HISTORY OF SPEAKS CHAPEL METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
By M.M. Speak



        In the year 1839, Nicholas Speak, Sr. deeded to the members of the Methodist Episcopal Church for their use, a tract of land or lot of land, as shown by deed (copy of which is included in this manuscript) DBK 8, page 216A, recorded in Lee County, Virginia.  The deed is the only written evidence I have been able to find in regard to the church.  There is no written evidence in existence telling when the church was organized or by whom.  The original building was a large lod structure, with seats made by split logs, with holes bored in them with pins inserted for legs.  The heating equipment was made by two box like frames about 5 by 5 feet square, and 12 inches high, which were placed on the floor and filled with earth.  In the center of these squares was heaped large piles of charcoal, which served as fuel and heated the building nicely, the smoke passing out through the roof as there was no overhead ceiling.  The original building was used to teach school in for many years.  I agttended my first school there seventy five years ago.  (M.M. Speak)  (Note by writer:  No date is given for the compilation).

        After the Civil War when the "division" came in the church, both branches of the Church used this building for worship for many years.  Finally a misunderstanding arose in regard to who was the legal owners of the property.  Most of the M.E.'s withdrew their membership, and built a church over by Powell River.  The church is known as the Fairview M.E. Church.  This upheaval became near being the undoing of the two branches of the church in this community as neither has been very prosperous since, but, thankful to a "faithful few," Speaks Chapel is still functioning.  I am not a member of the Methodist Church but I have always been interested in Speaks Chapel and always will be.  My parents and all their people were members of this church.

        My sincere hope and prayer is:  That God in his mercy and wisdom will help the church at Speaks Chapel to become strong again and once again become a "Power for God" as it was when I was a boy.

Names of some of the original members:
Nicholas Speak, Sr. and wife
Johnathan Haynes and wife
James Bartley and wife
John Speak, Sr. and wife
Tandy Welsh
William Morgan
Adam Yeary
Charles Speak
Nathan Hobbs
Fanny Speak Rosenbaum
Rebecca Speak Rosenbaum
Henderson Rosenbaum
Samuel Speak and wife

Names of the present members (or some of them) now living near Speaks Chapel:
Lillie Davis
Susie Levins
Mary Fee
James Rosenbaum
Charlie Ball
J.A. Rosenbaum
Vola King
Charlie Rosenbaum
John Ball
Mrs. Robert Saylor
Emma Edds
Roy DeBusk
Mae DeBusk
Sheffie Rosenbaum

Note:
Mr. Robert L. Rosenbaum, a descendant of the Speak family, contributed the History of Speaks Chapel by M.M.Speak.
 

[Early Settlers of Lee County, Virginia and Adjacent Counties, Vol. II, Hattie Muncy Bates, Copyright 1977, pages 951-952]