“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Union in Monroe County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)


Oldest Church Building West of the Allegheny Mountains

Rehoboth Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, May 30, 2015
1. Rehoboth Marker
Inscription. Society of Methodists Organized, 1794.

First bishop of American Methodism, Francis Asbury, was present at the raising of the church, 1785; dedicated this log meeting house, 1786; and held three annual conferences in May, 1792, 1793, 1796.

The church was built chiefly by the means and through the industry of Edward Keenan, who deeded for church and burying grounds five acres for “as long as grass grows and water flows.”

Restored in 1927 under supervision of Reverend George W. Richardson, presiding elder.
Erected 1930 by Daughters of the American Revolution, on August 31st.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Francis Asbury, Traveling Methodist Preacher marker series.
Location. 37° 35.41′ N, 80° 30.346′ W. Marker is near Union, West Virginia, in Monroe County. Marker can be reached from Rehoboth Church Road (Local Route 3/8) north of West Virginia Route 3. Click for map. It is over the door of the log church. Marker is in this post office area: Union WV 24983, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers
Rehoboth Tablet on the Rehoboth Church image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, May 30, 2015
2. Rehoboth Tablet on the Rehoboth Church
This tablet is over the door. The smaller tablet to the left reads, “This property has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places y the United States Department of the Interior”.
are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Rehoboth Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Union College (approx. 2 miles away); Gen. John Echols House (approx. 2 miles away); Bishop Matthew W. Clair, Sr. (approx. 2 miles away); Crook's Occupation of Union (approx. 2.1 miles away); Civil War Monument (approx. 2.1 miles away); William Porcher Miles (approx. 2.1 miles away); General John Echols (approx. 2.1 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Union.
Regarding Rehoboth. Set away from the highway, it is a quiet and peaceful. See the caption on Photo 4 for guided tours dates and times.

At this writing Anita Tracy is in charge of the museum. She is very pleasant, knowledgeable and welcoming and eager to tell you about the church, its history, the artifacts in the museum, and anything else you would like to know. No proselytizing, just a very informative guided tour. There is no admission charge, but you will find a donation box in the museum lobby if you are so inclined. If you wish to visit at another time call ahead for an appointment. The caretakerís telephone number is +1 304 772-3518 and its mailing address is HC 83 Box 154, Union, WV 24993. Its Facebook page is here.
Also see . . .
Rehoboth Church image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, May 30, 2015
3. Rehoboth Church
After the last restoration, a tin roof was built over the restored roof of the structure, with overhangs to protect the Church from the elements.

1. Wikipedia Entry. “Built simply of logs hewn from the forest, Rehoboth Church naturally deteriorated as the years passed. Restoration efforts began in 1927, when the entire structure was repaired. By 1930, continuing efforts had seen the erection of a firm shelter for the building: while the original roof was left in place, a large tin roof was set over the entire structure. It has since been recognized by a Methodist church history society, being named a National Methodist Shrine for its place as the most westerly church remaining in the United States built before the Constitution was implemented and the only such church in West Virginia. By the early 1960s, the building was still in sturdy condition, and it was even used periodically for worship services. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 31, 1974. Today, a small museum stands on the site near the church.” (Submitted on June 2, 2015.) 

2. Wikipedia entry for Francis Asbury. “Francis Asbury (1745–1816) was one of the first two bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States. As a young man in October 1771, the Englishman traveled
View of Rehoboth Church from the Museum image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, May 30, 2015
4. View of Rehoboth Church from the Museum
The church and museum is open April through October from 11 to 5 Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and from 1 to 5 on Sunday. There is covered picnic pavilion on the grounds and rest rooms at the museum.
to America and, during his 45 years there, he devoted his life to ministry, traveling on horseback and by carriage thousands of miles to those living on the frontier.”
“Asbury preached in myriad places: courthouses, public houses, tobacco houses, fields, public squares, wherever a crowd assembled to hear him. For the remainder of his life he rode an average of 6,000 miles each year, preaching virtually every day and conducting meetings and conferences. Under his direction, the church grew from 1,200 to 214,000 members and 700 ordained preachers. Among the men he ordained was Richard Allen in Philadelphia, the first black minister in the United States. “In the fall of 1800, Asbury attended one of the events of the Revival of 1800 as he traveled from Kentucky into Tennessee. The combined Presbyterian and Methodist communion observance made a deep impression on Asbury as an early experience with multi-day meetings which included camping on the grounds of the meeting house. The experience, recorded in his journal, illustrates an early identity between religious revivalism and what would later become a staple of nineteenth-century Methodism, the camp meeting.” (Submitted on June 2, 2015.)
Scale Model of Rehoboth Church image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, May 30, 2015
5. Scale Model of Rehoboth Church
Click on image to enlarge. This scale model of the two-level church is in the museumís lobby. The church has one door, on the right side, and one window on the left side. On the lower level there are half-log benches facing the pulpit and along the window's wall. Stairs on the wall opposite the pulpit lead to the second level (you can see the railing fir the stairs on the lower right. Upstairs are more benches, shown.
Categories. Churches, Etc.
Old Rehoboth Communion Table image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, May 30, 2015
6. Old Rehoboth Communion Table
“Thought to have been used by Bishop Asbury when he came to Rehoboth in 1786.” Table is in the museum.
Gaye Hoke, First Deaconess of Methodism image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, May 30, 2015
7. Gaye Hoke, First Deaconess of Methodism
The diploma is dated 1918. She was born in Monroe County. She cared for the poor.
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 223 times since then and 69 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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