St. John's United Methodist Church


The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1784, but the controversy over slavery caused a secession of a Southern group in 1843, and this group became known as the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in 1844. In 1856, a small group of people organized a congregation of this Southern branch in New Martinsville, W. Va. which was to become what we know today as St. John’s United Methodist Church.

The charter members of St. John’s consisted of only two families.... Mr and Mrs Leonard S. Hall and Mr and Mrs Josiah Boyer and their two daughters, Alcinda and Susan. In the early days the church was part of a circuit, but by 1869, St. John’s was assigned a pastor of its own, and has been so supplied since that time.

Services were originally held in the Methodist Episcopal Church on Main Street, known as “Old Brick”. The people of St. John’s began construction on a church of their own in 1880, and it was dedicated by the presiding minister, the Reverend J. H. Jackson, in 1881. The first parsonage was built during the 1897-1900 pastorate of the Reverend J. M. Carter.

Growth of the church was rapid, and by 1909, a cornerstone was laid for a new church on the site of the present church. Many changes have taken place at St. John’s in the intervening years. Most notable of these are a large addition to the church in 1958, the building of a new parsonage in 1966, an extensive remodeling of the sanctuary, completed in 1970, and the addition of a fire escape in 1976. During this Bicentennial year, St. John’s completes 120 years of serving the religious needs of its congregation.


return to the History of the Churches of New Martinsville