Our History

About Northside


Northside was first organized in October of 1944 as an afternoon Sunday School class in north Blacksburg, Virginia – a part of town known as “Potlikker Flats” - for children of the Northside Community. It was held in the three-room Helms Linkous home (later known as “The Annex”), led by three women: Janet Cameron, Hallie Hughes, and Calara Underhill from Blacksburg Presbyterian Church (BPC). The first class quickly expanded to three classes – one class in each room.

In 1947, one more classroom was needed. In October 1949, 22 community members send a signed petition to Blacksburg Presbyterian requesting a church building. BPC bought the lot next door to the Helms house, and a one-room, cinder block chapel was constructed in 1949-1950. The first “preaching services” were held the night of February 12, 1950, conducted by Dr. Ellison A. Smyth (then minister of the BPC), with 18 persons in attendance. Three years later, a classroom, furnace room, bathroom, and belfry were added ($110 loan and memorial gifts). On September 13, 1955 the church was named “Northside Presbyterian Chapel.” In early 1963 a larger addition was added which provided two floors of classrooms (first meeting: February 3, 1963) in additional to a small kitchen and fellowship hall. As Blacksburg grew, members were drawn from all areas of the community and surrounding county. The facilities have been expanded four times. On May 29, 1966, Northside Presbyterian Church was officially named (membership: 42; 4 Ruling Elders elected).

In 1975, a multipurpose addition was constructed with a finished basement; it was dedicated on October 12, 1975. This addition was renovated to accommodate the new sanctuary, and was connected to the original chapel area, the office area together with halls and a narthex, as well as the construction of new restrooms and one additional classroom/parlor. A remodeled kitchen, located off the sanctuary and narthex, were added.  


1960-1964        Rev. Fred Currie (part-time; first Sunday: July 1, 1960)
1965                 Rev. John C. Wilson (interim)
1966                 Rev. H. Wilkes O’Brien (part-time; yoked with Roanoke Valley Church)
1968-1972        Rev. O’Brien (
called as full-time pastor January 1968; membership: 73;membership December 1968: 103)
1973-1985        Rev. Richard B. Vines (January 14, 1973; May 27, 1973 membership: 150; December 1974

                                     membership:148 adults and 60 children; October 28, 1984 membership: 251)   
1968-1998        Rev. Hugh B. Springer
(interim for 6 months; Don Tallent from Australia with Hugh traded with him)   1998-1999       Rev. Shirley Larson
1999-Present    Rev. Dr. Linda J. Dickerson

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