The William Watters Foundation
Honoring William Watters
The First American-born Methodist Itinerant Preacher
Historic Site #7
As designated by
The General Commission on Archives and History of
The United Methodist Church
William Watters Foundation
The William Watters Foundation was established by the Virginia Conference Historical Society to oversee the preservation and care of the William Watters Memorial, designated Historic Site #7 on July 11, 1969. Membership is open to all persons interested in preserving, protecting, and interpreting this historic site of United Methodism.
The Foundation is incorporated as a non-profit corporation within the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Foundation directors are elected by the Trustees of the Virginia Conference Historical Society.
The Memorial Site
The William Watters gravesite is located at 6430 Linway Terrace, one block from Old Dominion Drive in McLean, Virginia, in what was once a much larger family cemetery. The land originally belonged to William and Ann Adams, one of the earliest Methodist families in Northern Virginia and in-laws of William Watters. By 1827, when Watters was buried, the land had come into ownership of a member of the Wren family who had married Watters’ sister-in-law. In 1892 the Virginia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church placed a monument at the gravesite of Watters and his wife, Sarah Adams Watters.
A circular plot, 90 feet in diameter containing the Watters’ graves, was deeded to the Virginia Conference Historical Society in 1965. The Foundation has erected a surround which follows the perimeter of the circular plot with access from Linway Terrace.
Throughout the circumference of the site are to be found many “field stone” markers indicating the graves of some of those 46 persons recorded as having been buried in the cemetery.