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 .

Submitted by: Dawn E.Trent "Morningstar"

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