ON THE RIVER AT 801 SOPHIA STREET IN DOWNTOWN FREDERICKSBURG, VIRGINIA
The hands of Julia Sprow Ross Frazier (late 1926 or early 1927)
Web content copyright © 2015 by Shiloh Baptist Church (Old Site), 801 Sophia Street, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22401
Top: Riverfront homes just down the street from Shiloh, 1863
Middle: Julia Sprow Ross Frazier at about age 72
Bottom: Pam Johnson and Kaila White performing in the 2013 edition of "Remembering Miss Julia"
Remembering Miss Julia
An introduction to the video, which tells the story of Shiloh through the eyes of Julia Sprow Ross Frazier
After reading the background below, you can
click here to jump directly to the video page
Julia Sprow Ross Frazier was born in slavery on the Boggs Plantation in Spotsylvania, Virginia, in 1854, the same year that Shiloh was born as an independent congregation.
She survived both the turmoil of the Civil War and a gruesome period of being "in service" for the man who had been Fredericksburg's chief slave trader, George Aler. She witnessed emancipation, "reconstruction," and the long early struggle for racial justice.
Through it all, she remained a person of deep faith, boundless energy, and remarkable vision.
In 2012, a widely acclaimed program entitled "Remembering Miss Julia" was developed surveying the history of this congregation through the dramatized eyes of Julia Frazier. The program drew on a number of public documents, church documents, archival photographs, written records, and oral histories, including many of Julia Frazier's own descriptions of events.
Many of Julia Frazier's own memories had been recorded in Weevils in the Wheat: Interviews with Virginia Ex-Slaves, published by University Press of Virginia. Additional information was extracted from the memoirs of another formerly enslaved member of our congregation, John Washington, published in the book A Slave No More.
Because of the program's enduring value, it was presented again in 2013 for members of St. George's Episcopal Church in Fredericksburg (a nearby congregation with a significant history of its own). Members of St. George's kindly recorded the presentation for us, and that recording is available here for your viewing. The video is approximately 50 minutes in length, and you can open the video page by clicking here.
The program was conceived and created through the joint efforts of Janice Davies, Bernice Easley, Faye Jones, and Mark Olson.
Speaking roles were handled by the Rev. Lawrence Davies, Bernice Easley, Emmett Fleming, Pam Johnson, Richard Mayo, Roland Moore, Kevin Ward, and Kaila White.
Music was provided by Willie Conyers, Jean Dixon-Cox, Robbin Edwards, Margaret Jackson, David Johnson, Reggie Lucas, Gearlette Rowe, and Grace Sprow.
The silent actors were Mary Fleming, Shelton Johnson, Delores Lacy, Rochelle Rhoden, Kennedi Smith, and Elaine White.
All participants were members of Shiloh Old Site.