Pisgah United Methodist Church
Preston County, West Virginia

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A drawing of the Church

By: Merle and Ray Wilson

         Churches were usually the focal point of small rural communities in West Virginia during the late 19th century and late 20th century.  The Pisgah United Methodist Church was no exception.  Methodists living in the Pleasant Hill and Flatrock areas wanted a church of their own.  They were worshiping in the old Pleasant Hill School House, which doubled as a Baptist Church on Sunday.  The Methodists enjoyed the fellowship of the service but still longed for a church dedicated to their own faith

        In 1881, following several planning meetings, construction was under way.  Several families donated land, materials and labor in order to start a new church in the Flatrock area.  First they needed land on which to set the church; Eli J. Walls volunteered to give the necessary property.  Building materials were also needed.  Ami Walls and Jesse Cale donated the uncut lumber for the church.  These logs were hauled by Abner Walls to James B. King's sawmill on Laurel Run; there they were sawed.  Jesse Cale donated the stone.  Ebb Graham and Ed Gibson needed to lay the foundation.  Carpenter, Will Metheny, and his assistant, Zar K. King, soon had the church under roof.  The plastering of the church was the duty of Cape Holland.  The sizable sum of fifty dollars had been donated by several families to help defray costs.  These families became the leaders of the church.  These families included Eli J. Walls, Ami Walls, Jesse Cale, William E. Rogers, Irvin Christopher, Jehu Christopher, Barkley McCollum, and William Michael.  George Walls also helped with the work and donated fifty dollars but he always held his membership at Laurel Run.

        The church was dedicated by Reverend Icing in November of 1881 and was named "The Pisgah Methodist Church."  Soon a post office and a school were built; they also went by the name of "Pisgah".  Thus, this community had changed its name to that of the church.

        The church has had many changes in its lifetime.  The Pisgah Methodist Church was part of the Oakland District, Brandonville charge from its inception.  In 1894, the Bruceton Mills charge was formed and became a part of the Fairmont District.

        Many of the early leaders of the church also attended other churches.  Many went to the early morning Sunday service at Laurel Run and then came to the Pisgah Church for the afternoon service.  Thus, many of the leaders of Laurel Run were also leaders at Pisgah.  These included George Walls, Dick Walls, Billy Gibson and Sanford Ryan.

        The Pisgah Church had become a mainstay in the community.  The founding families could not know the future, but the Pisgah Church would be there in that future as a beacon to guide the lives of the generations which pass through its doors.

Post Script

        Since 1881, the Pisgah Church has undergone many changes, both structurally and internally.  The shingle roof was replaced by metal, interior walls were paneled, ceilings were lowered, a bell tower was added, a placard was donated for the front of the building, and an expansion including a kitchen and indoor restrooms was added recently.  In 1968 the Methodist and the United Brethren joined together.  The official name of the church then changed to "The Pisgah United Methodist Church."  These changes and many others have occurred since the dedication in 1881.

        The little white church has welcomed hundreds of people into its spiritual fold.  Many of these people have been strong church workers who gave much time and money to the church.  Hundreds have passed through the doors of the church to be baptized, married or buried since that service in 1881.

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