Ashburn Magazine

Historic Presbyterian chapel has been spiritual home to generations

About two years ago, Randy Poland put on his Sunday best and drove to a little historic chapel on Ashburn Road to attend his daughter’s wedding. The venue wasn’t a random rental, however. It was the place his family had worshiped for generations – Ashburn Presbyterian Church.

The wedding released a flood of memories for Poland, a 67-year-old retired Loudoun County teacher.

“I grew up in that church,” said Poland, who recalls hot Loudoun summers and no air conditioning. “When I sat in the pews, the varnish would stick to the back of my damp shirt so much I had to peel it away… I remember watching the wasps fly around nests in the ceiling, hoping they wouldn’t swoop down.” 

Winters could be challenging. “The thin windows let in cold air, so we sat close to the old heat registers between the pews,” he said. Those old registers are still there in the floors.

One of the original heating grates in the floor of the original chapel.

Ashburn Presbyterian was founded in 1876 as an offshoot of the Leesburg Presbyterian Church. Upon completion of construction in 1878, the tiny chapel – 33 feet wide by 50 feet long – opened to 23 charter members, and the church has been holding regular worship services for the 145 years since.

To read more about the history of the church, including how it was built, what parts of the original chapel are still intact, and more — click here and head over to the Ashburn Magazine website