Blue Jay Baptist Church
Blue Jay, West Virginia
Attending the dedication (in Aug 1950) were
Mrs Frank (Arminta)Hayes,*Mrs.Blanche Snead,Mrs.Mary Carter,& Mrs.Georgia
Work was begun on the present church building in 1949 and the church was
dedicated in 1950,with the first service there being held on Easter Sunday of
that year in the basement.
Beaver Creek ,which flows through Blue Jay ,was used for baptizing new
members for many year's,pollution finally bringing that tradition to an end.
Also a large flat water tank at the mill was used on occasion.
Mrs.P.C.Lynch(mary Zeta Shanahan) was active in establishing an early
Catholic church here. The first mass in Raliegh Co.,was read at her home in
Blue Jay,which was later to become st.Francis DeSales Catholic
Church,Beckley. She was activein teaching religious education to children in
Blue Jay area not just those interested in the Catholic religiopn. The
religious classes she held in her home.For this work ,Pope Pius XII conferred
upon her the highest order that a Catholic woman at that time could have,"Pro
Ecclesia Et Pontifica",and issued her a medal at the same time. Later her
daughter Edna "Ned" Fourney directed the choir at the Catholic Church ,and
another daughter ,Grace was organist.
As mentioned before ,the first school was built by the Blue Jay Lumber
Co.,The year was 1904,the building had two rooms,some of the teachers before
1916 were Ella Kingsley,John Okes,Tom Caldwell,Victoria Richmond,Stella
Woofter and Walter Skelton.
In 1916,a new four room frame building was constructed by the board of
education across the creek ,opposite the present school.Principals since then
have been Oley McGinnis,Dudley Ross,George Okes,Christy Snead,Tom Moye,Karl
Okes and Sherman Ackers.
Note; Not to sure if the early school and the first church were one in the
same ,was in the book on the history of Beckley WV ,and has old sketches of
said in it .