For the past 51 years, Lorenzo Vaughan has been an active and dedicated citizen of Centreville. Residing near Bull Run Park, Vaughan, 77, has served as the President of the Mt. Olive Civic Association, the Elder for the Cub Run Primitive Baptist Church, and has been extremely involved with the planning and development of the Compton Road area that dates back to the original Centreville Core Study. With all of the hard work Vaughan has put into improving his community, it’s no surprise that he has been named the new Lord Fairfax by Supervisor Michael Frey (R-Sully).
BUT WHAT’S FITTING is that the only person surprised is Vaughan himself. “I haven’t done nothing special except try to behave myself,” says Vaughan. “All I’ve tried to do is be a good citizen.”
Born in Maybeury, WV, Vaughan always had to work for what he had. After his mother got sick when he was still a boy, Vaughan went to live with his grandparents in Christiansburg, Va.
“I started working when I was 9 years old,” Vaughan said. “I’ve been a hard worker all my life.” In grade school, Vaughan’s first job was carrying newspapers. Once in high school, he worked at a local restaurant after school to make money. “I worked 7 days a week and went to school,” Vaughan said.
While he never attended college, Vaughan completed high school in Christiansburg and then moved to Washington, D.C., in 1948 where he worked for the Washington Gas Line Company at Springfield Station. He continued working there for the next 37 years until he retired in 1985.
Vaughan thought that he was finished working, but by 1986 he had become a pastor at the Cub Run Primitive Baptist Church. “I didn’t decide to become a pastor; the Lord called me and told me to do it. I know that most people don’t understand, but that’s just how it was,” he said. “I was just as surprised as anyone.”
VAUGHAN’S WIFE of 51 years, Martha Duncan Vaughan, says she is extremely proud of her husband. When asked what Vaughan is like, she said, “He’s just the same as he’s always been — even after 51 years he is still a nice young man. We work together.” They also have one son together, who they named Christopher.
Coincidentally, Martha’s father was also a pastor at the Cub Run Primitive Baptist Church, and Martha grew up in Centreville attending that church. “My husband is a very good preacher,” she says.
Reminiscing on his early days in church Vaughan chuckles and said, “When I was a boy I was made to go to church, but I didn’t want to go — I wanted to stay outside and play with the other kids.” But now Vaughan loves being a preacher and finds the work meaningful. He feels that it gives him something to look forward to, and wants to share that feeling with others.
“I never thought I was one to tell others what to do,” he says. “But that is basically what preaching is all about.” It makes him smile when he sees most of the kids outdoors playing before and after church. Nodding he smiles and says, “That’s good, that’s normal.”
As for being named 2007 Lord Fairfax, Vaughan is still getting used to the idea and admits he doesn’t know exactly what the award is. Referring to Frey, Vaughan says, “We’ve known each other for a long time and I guess he thought I’d be one to give the award to.”
Of course, Frey agrees. “Vaughan has been one of the most pivotal leaders in the effort to restore the historic church structure of Cub Run Primitive Baptist,” said Frey. This is significant because the church was the first African American church in Fairfax County and has a lot of history. Frey added that Vaughan has been instrumental in overseeing the growth and preservation of the historic area in general as well as protecting small family cemeteries that are scattered throughout western Fairfax.
“His positive contributions help to make the Sully District a better place and therefore, make Lorenzo Vaughan an excellent representative for Lord Fairfax,” said Frey.