John Alderson, Jr. (1738-1821) was one of the early settlers to the Greenbrier Valley in the Colonial period. He is recognized as founding the first Baptist church west of the Allegheny Mountains in Southern Virginia in 1781, five weeks after the Battle of Yorktown. Two hundred thirty-six years later, on Sunday, June 18, his grave was marked with a bronze marker by the Point Vicente and General Andrew Lewis chapters of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. The DAR marks the graves of soldiers, patriots and their wives to preserve the nation’s Revolutionary War history.
On a beautiful afternoon at the Old Greenbrier Baptist Church Cemetery, a crowd of over 100 people gathered to honor Alderson’s patriotic service in rendering material aid in the cause of American independence. A DAR Patriot Grave Marker Dedication Ceremony was held following a historical-themed worship service at this church that Elder John founded.
The Greenbrier Composite Squadron Civil Air Patrol provided the color guard in the ceremony as descendants, church and community members and dignitaries proudly recited the Pledge of Allegiance and The American’s Creed. The Old Greenbrier Baptist Church Choir sang a medley of patriotic songs. Alderson’s biography was read and prayers of thanksgiving and exhortation were offered. As the grave marker was being dedicated by the DAR chapters, descendants attending from as far away as California each placed a flower on the grave.