From the Staunton, Virginia, News Leader, no date Buffalo Gap Chapel Boom Product – by Rev. Frank L. Goodman
A special service of dedication and consecration Sunday will mark another step forward for the Buffalo Gap Presbyterian Chapel which had its beginning in the mid-19th century when the gap became briefly a boom town.
About the middle of the 19th century, the Buffalo Gap Furnace Company created a boom in the Buffalo Gap community by placing an iron furnace there. The furnace was located near the C & O Railway tracks almost directly across the highway from the present location of the chapel.
A town of some 70 houses sprang up quickly and the company erected a small building to be used as a community center and place for religious worship. The Furnace Company failed after a few years and the residents moved away, leaving a ghost town.
In order to dispose of the property remaining, the Buffalo Gap Developing Company was formed in an effort was made to bring back life to the once thriving community. The little church was used as a school building in the winter and was open to be used for religious services to anyone so desiring.
The property still was in the hands of the Buffalo Gap Developing Company which by this time was inactive. Through the efforts of W. H. Adkins, a member of the Loch Willow Church, and a trustee of the Buffalo Gap Developing Company, the property where the church now stands was conveyed to the Loch Willow Church, together with the building that was standing on it.
The people of the community assisted by the Loch Willow congregation set to work to build a new church. The old building was torn down and moved about one mile west, and rebuilt into a dwelling which still stand on Rt. 42 between the highway and the railroad tracks. It is a stucco house known as the Kemp Jones house and is still used as a dwelling by some of the Jones’ heirs.
The new building, which is the present one, was erected. It was completed and dedicated in about 1926. Interest at the chapel has fluctuated from time to time. The Sunday school was held in the summer months was preaching occasionally in the afternoon. From time to time assistant pastors at Loch Willow would revive the work during the summer, but with the coming of cold weather the chapel would be closed.
Around 1950 Caldwell Daffin, then operating a business in the community became interested in the work. He began a revival of interest which has continued until the present time. Through the efforts of Mr. Daffin, and others, the chapel began holding Sunday school in the mornings on Sunday and a preaching service at 11 each Sunday. Various laymen from Staunton and the surrounding community would hold the services. Progress was being made.
Loch Willow employed P. Parker Perkins as an assistant for two summers. Gave a great deal of his time to developing the work in Buffalo Gap and the people took a great interest in the work. The Rev. W. H Zigler retired Church of the Brethren minister living in the Churchville Community, was employed to serve the chapel as a supply pastor in 1954. He has been with the work since that times.
of the Session and the Board of Deacons from Loch Willow Church are assigned to the Buffalo Gap work. They have a governing body available at all times.