TAYLOR COUNTY—One local church has stood the test of time and will be celebrating their one-hundred-year anniversary in the community this week.
Parkview Church of the Nazarene would like to extend an invitation to the community to come out and help them celebrate.
During the celebration, stories and pictures will be shared as the congregation and community comes together to share their memories.
According to church members, the idea for church came after a group Nazarenes from Mannington, WV came to work in the potter at Park View.
While there, the group saw a need for revival of holiness preaching and began to make plans to accomplish just that.
Soon after, Ira Capehart, Ray Defenbaugh and Dave Seavers gave money to bring the preachers in to hold a tent meeting on Maple Ave. At the time, a swinging bridge across the Tygart River was used to get to Maple Ave.
The meeting was held in the early summer of 1919, with Rev. O.O. Benedum, pastor at Mannington, Rev. Earl Stillion, who later became the first pastor at Parkview, and Rev. Charlie Conley, a Song Evangelist, held the services in cooperation with Rev. Howard Sloan, who was the District Superintendent of the Pittsburg District.
As a result of the meeting, the first Church of the Nazarene in Grafton, WV was organized in July 1919 by Rev. Sloan in the original Park View School Building, which later became their first parsonage.
The 13 original charter members were as follows: Mr. and Mrs. Ira Capehart, Miss Sarah Capehart, Mr. and Mrs. Ray Defenbaugh, Miss Ruth Defenbaugh, Mr. and Mrs. Dave Seavers, Mrs. Polly Freeze, Mrs. Clemens, Mrs. Cummins, Mr. Reed and Mrs. Jessie Breedlove.
The congregation continued to hold services in the school building while the present church was being constructed. According to members, the lot where the church is now located was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Dave Seavers, who purchased it from Margaret Carr in 1918, for $125.
Mrs. Carr donated $5 of the purchased price when the lot was given to be used for the church.
The foundation for the church for the present building was laid by Joe Smith, at the time it was difficult to get material delivered. To help with the project, Sherman Rice hauled lumber from the mill on a wagon drawn by a team of horses.
After the foundation was laid, the group felt the need for a revival. So, another tent meeting was held on the church ground and additional members were taken into the church fellowship.
Dave Seavers helped with the costs of the materials needed to the church, and W. T. Wells volunteered to do the construction with the help of D.M. Morgan who was a carpenter.
The men and women of the Park View community rallied and helped the men with the construction of the church and with their hard work the construction was completed.
On April 25, 1920 the church building was dedicated by Rev. Sloan. On January 29, 1921 the deed was made by David and Mary Severs to Alfred Robinson, R.G. Defenbaugh and Ira S. Capehart, Trustees of the Parkview Church of the Nazarene.
Throughout the years, the church has seen many renovations to accommodate their growing congregation from new restrooms to Sunday School classrooms.
Speaking of Sunday School, some may remember or may have heard of a challenge that occurred in 1978.
Rev. Keith Hostutler challenged his congregation to have 100 people in Sunday School during a Sunday School Contest. He said if they did, he would preach from the top of the bell tower.
The goal was reached, and Rev. Hostutler kept his word. On June 4, 1978, he preached from the bell tower as promised.
In early 2004, the congregation was quickly outgrowing the facilities and a major renovation project began.
The project involved tearing down the walls between three of the classrooms and replacing them with accordion style doors so they could double as Sunday School rooms and be a part of the expanded sanctuary. In doing so, it increased the seating capacity by over 50 people.
In addition, they also added an upstairs bathroom, new nursey, emergency exit and a new entryway. The work continued with a new roof, a new playground and expansion of the parking lot.
Throughout the last hundred years, the church has had over 25 pastors, and their current pastor is Michael Delligatti.
Parkview Church has held countless blessings, marriages, dinners, camps and more for the community.
To help commemorate the last 100 years, the church will be holding a celebration this weekend and would like for the community to come join them.
On Saturday, August 10, join the congregation for cruise on “The Princess” at Tygart Lake from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
The cost is $20 per-person and it will be followed by an ice cream social at the Fellowship Hall. The church is providing the ice cream, bring your own toppings to share.
Then on Sunday, August 11, join them for a special morning service where previous pastors will come to share their stories of Parkview.
They will also have a mortgage burning to celebrate getting the addition paid off!
In addition, anyone who would like to donate items for a backpack drive for Taylor County Middle School can donate items at this time.
All of this will be followed by a dinner-on-the-grounds. The church is providing pulled pork and the rest is covered dish.
The members of the church would like to express their appreciation to all that have helped over the last 100 years in any way to make the church what it is today.
They shared that without the community’s prayers and support the ministry would not continue to be possible.