When the Anglican Church was established by law, Baptists were often imprisoned for preaching without licenses. In 1769 Culpeper officials imprisoned James Ireland for preaching without a commission from the ecclesiastical/civil authorities.
He was placed in the Culpeper Jail on the northwest corner of East and Davis Streets. When the Virginia General Assembly adopted Thomas Jefferson's Statute of Religious Freedom, the Episcopal Church, no longer the Church of England, experienced loss of establishment status, loss of income, loss of glebes, and loss of members to newly organized churches of other denominations.
In 1814 the Diocese of Virginia's Convention could list only ten towns and five counties in which the Episcopal Church showed signs of life; Culpeper County was one. The Church building was erected in 1821, on one acre of land willed by the Revolutionary patriot, Brigadier-General Edward Stevens, as a memorial to his young son. The cornerstone reads: 'James Madison, President U.S.A. 46th Year of American Independence.