African Americans in Woodlawn, four miles southwest of here, established Woodlawn Methodist Episcopal Church ca. 1866. The Woodlawn area, formerly part of George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate, was home to African Americans who had been free landowners before the Civil War, people recently emancipated from slavery, and northern Quakers who had arrived in the 1840s. The Methodist church, built on land purchased from Quakers, housed a Freedmen’s Bureau school that became a public school by 1871. The congregation established a cemetery and in 1888 built a new sanctuary. When Fort Belvoir expanded during World War II, the church moved here to the historically black community of Gum Springs.
Marker: E-146, Virginia Department of Historic Resources (2017)