FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH
1890 - 1976
On September 30, l890, a few interested people met for the purpose of establishing a
Christian Church In New Martinsville. Because the first place of meeting was in Brooklyn, the
section south of Fishing Creek, the name Brooklyn Christian Church was first used. This was
later changed to First Christian Church. The first elders were F. P. Fooner and I. C. Moore,
and the deacons were John Obers and W. H. Nolan. Trustees were Henry Gehring. C. M.
Williams and J. Minor. Serving as elder emeriles at the present time and still active are F. P.
Fiess and J. I, Shackelford; this honor was conferred on them in 1955.
In the early ‘90’s the congregation purchased property and constructed a small frame building
on Central Street in Brooklyn. The exact date of construction of this building is not known,
but in 1902 the church had grown so that the first expansion program was necessary. The
chancel of the church was reversed, a wing was added, and a balcony constructed. This
building was used until 1939 when the present church on Maple Avenue was partially
As early as 1919 a congregational committee was appointed to select a site, and in January
1920 a lot on the corner of Maple Avenue and Locust Street was purchased. In 1934 a
building committee was appointed and they served loyally until the work was finally
completed some fifteen years later. In Aug. 1937 they were instructed to go as far as they
could without going into debt. Ground was broken on Sept. 7, 1937. On July 7, 1938 the
cornerstone was laid. The sanctuary was finally completed and dedicated with a week of
services in June of 1949.
Through the years there has been strong and active leadership. Those pioneering in the
early beginnings include (aside from those previously listed) G. M. Wood; C.F. Hassner; W.
E. Hassig; Lawrence Amos; Luther Murray; Mrs W. J. Williamson; Dorothy Widmer; F. W.
Nicely; Mrs M. B. Potts; Mrs J. A. Pyles and many of their descendents still carry on the work
and mission of the church presently.
Sept. 1965 marked our Diamond Jubilee with some forty persons being recognized for having
been members for more than forty years. The 85th anniversary has just been concluded and It
is fitting that we approach our 100th anniversary just as the nation lifts up its 200th Bi
Ministers having served this congregation include W. M, Long; T. A. Hodge; J. W. Stewart; J.
C. Waddell; E. H. Hart; D. S. Boggs; Lawrence Doak; J. G. Bough; L. M. Omer; J. C.
Richards; W. H. Sliter, Richard D. Eldridge and George H. Taylor.