Summersville Memorial United Methodist Church
Thursday, July 25, 2024
To make Disciples of Jesus Christ
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     The Town of Summersville was established as the County Seat of
Nicholas County in 1820, the same year that the Methodist formed their
first organization and met in homes and the Court House.

     The split in the Methodist Church occurred in 1845 over slavery, and
the first church, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was built on
land which was given the Trustees on February 18, 1848 by Robert Kelly
and Robert Hamilton.  This building was used for 40 years, torn down in
1888 and a new Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was constructed on the
same site, where a cemetery remains on Broad Street.

     A Summersville Methodist Episcopal Church was erected on Main Street
in 1906.  Unification in 1939 brought all branches of Methodism together.
We understand that political division separated some families from
attending the same Methodist Church until the unification of the Northern
and Southern Churches.

     The Rev. A. F. Gregory planned for a new church to be built in 1948
and land was about to be obtained on Lee Street.  Eugene L. Campbell
thought a better location could possibly be donated by a member living on
Webster Road.  This donation was granted by Mr. and Mrs. C.W.A. McClung.

     The present church was constructed in 1949-50, after a vigorous
seven days of fund raising.  July 15-July 31, 1948, netted $40,000 by
pledges, church dinners and donations.  The WSCS cooked on coal-wood
burning stoves at the M.E. South Building, served dinners for fund
raising with no running water or conveniences at the old church.

     The Building Committee, Finance and Campaign Executive Committees
saw a magnificent red brick structure with stained-glass windows
constructed at a total cost of $60,000.  The dedication was October 1,
1950, by Bishop Lloyd C. Wicke, District Superintendent, Dr. R. S.
McClung and Pastor, Rev. A. F. Gregory.

     The Pulpit Chairs were purchased about 1898 by Florence Starbuck
Campbell for the Southern Methodist Church on Broad Street before Bishop
Webb came to hold a District Conference there.  The carved wood chairs
were stored in the present church attic until 1968 when the United
Methodist Women had the three chairs restored and are presently located
in the Chancel of the Sanctuary.

     1967, a merger of the Evangelical United Brethren and the Methodist
Church took place to form the present United Methodist Church.

     An exterior bulletin board was erected in 1988, directed by a young
man who used the culminating project for an Eagle Scout Award.  The
former board was designed for people walking to see and the present board
for drivers to view church information.
     Church directories have been published every few years to help
members and friends to identify the church family.

     An addition to the church building was constructed 1991-92 at a cost
of $229,739.27.  A twenty foot addition to the North end, added
classrooms, an elevator and a ramp to make the church handicapped
accessible, air condition, exit lights and fire alarm system to meet
safety requirements updated the building.

     Several young men and women have received financial assistance from

special funds and members to further education in the ministry.  The
Church has continued to support many missions, local needs and disasters.
Memorial United Methodist has always been a caring and supportive

Many treasures and artifacts of the past are kept, as well as records, in
the History and Archives Room on the upper level.  The Historian prepares
an annual history of the church.

     Thirteen (13) ministers have served at Memorial United Methodist
since 1950.  Each minister served according to his talent and spiritual
guidance to lead the church.  A picture of each hangs in the History and
Archives Room, as a reminder of God’s Faithful Servants.

     In 2006, the metal windows were replaced with double-hung windows
and Memorial Plates with names of the donor and those remembered.  The
parking lot was paved and spaces marked with handicapped areas.

     Memorial United  Methodist Church has an excellent choir and musical
programs.  The Memorial Strings play for services and socials.  The
United Methodist Women are very active and sponsor an Apple Festival each
fall.  The Comforting Hands Quilters make lap robes for shut-ins, baby
quilts for Love Works and Gabriel Project.  They also make Chemo-Turbans
for Hospice.  There are Sunday School Classes for all ages, Bible and
Book Study Classes, Vacation Bible School, Men’s Group, Silent Hands
(Signing), Youth Groups, Newly formed exercise class and A weekly radio
ministry.  An updated sound system and hearing devices for hearing
impaired, help the older congregation have a better worship experience.

     Since 1950, we have experienced a church with only two paid people,
the custodian and the Minister, who had a manual typewriter, did his own
typing, had a telephone in a small upstairs room, the other helpers were
volunteers.  In the present COMMUNICATION PERIOD of 2007, there are three
offices, a paid secretary (presently serving over eleven years),
telephones, computers, Internet and Fax Services, E-Mail and other paid
employees. ( The secretary position is now filled by volunteers.)

     Memorial United Methodist Church – Summersville, is a beautiful and
worshipful building, well maintained, while getting much use.  However,
God is present; the spiritual manifestation is displayed in all services
and carried forth beyond the church doors.

     In 1984, our Bicentennial Theme was “People called Methodist, Then
and Now.”  As long as God wills, there will be “People Called Methodist”
in the town of Summersville, West Virginia to spread God’s Love and
Spiritual Being.

Chairperson of Records and History
Memorial United Methodist Church

Mrs. Robert B. Campbell (Ann)

March 21, 2007



The alter




Some of the beautiful stained glass windows





Two windows were added in the balcony