For Bet­ter To­mor­rows

Mem­bers of Pleas­ant Grove Bap­tist Church work to pre­serve its her­itage for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

Country - - JOKES - BY CANDY THOMP­SON Kingswood, West Virginia

If you jour­ney along a ru­ral road in Pre­ston County,

West Virginia, you may pass by Pleas­ant Grove Bap­tist Church in Ma­son­town. If it’s 10:45 on a Sun­day morn­ing, you will un­doubt­edly hear the bells ring­ing through the sur­round­ing val­ley and hills.

The church had its ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony back in 1891, right af­ter it was built. In at­ten­dance at that ser­vice were 132 peo­ple, in­clud­ing Civil War vet­eran Wil­liam McPeck. He was a sol­dier guard­ing Pres­i­dent Abra­ham Lin­coln on the day that Lin­coln was as­sas­si­nated at the Ford Theatre in 1865. McPeck is buried in our church ceme­tery.

To­day, the church of­fers Sun­day school and Bible study. Pas­tor Mike Har­ri­man and his wife, Jan—who plays beau­ti­ful pi­ano mu­sic—have led us in wor­ship since 2010. Our at­ten­dance is small but grow­ing; some of our mem­bers even come to church on horse­back. At times, we have taken ser­vice to the homes of mem­bers un­able to at­tend.

We also come to­gether with monthly con­tri­bu­tions to as­sist lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions, rang­ing from food pantries to util­ity sup­port pro­grams. Through our Help­ing Hands pro­gram, we have re­paired heat­ing stoves, aided res­i­dents with buy­ing glasses and pro­vided for fam­i­lies who lost ev­ery­thing in a fire. In May of 2017, mem­bers helped clean and re­build flooded ar­eas of south­ern West Virginia.

In the last decade, our church has needed some struc­tural re­pairs. Mem­bers of the con­gre­ga­tion raised the funds and did the work them­selves, re­plac­ing the roof and the fur­nace and build­ing a vestibule.

In 2015, over 150 peo­ple came to our home­com­ing cel­e­bra­tion. And each June we host Dec­o­ra­tion Day. Vet­er­ans from the lo­cal VFW present a pro­gram that in­cludes a gun salute and the play­ing of taps. On Easter Sun­day, we have sunrise ser­vice with break­fast.

As our con­gre­ga­tion grows, so do the cel­e­bra­tions. We did a hay ride with s’mores and a hot dog roast, had our first can­dle­light Christ­mas Eve ser­vice and put to­gether a time cap­sule to pre­serve our her­itage for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

Pleas­ant Grove Bap­tist Church keeps Chris­tian­ity alive in to­day’s world by help­ing oth­ers have bet­ter to­mor­rows. Feel free to visit us!

Built in 1891, the church has a bustling con­gre­ga­tion who stock food pantries (right) and host hay rides (top right).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.