ADAMSTON, W.Va. – The Christ United Methodist Church located in Adamston held its last communion on Jan. 1, as it has permanently closed.
Our 12 News reporter, Makayla Schindler, spoke with Bob Dennison, who has been a member of the church for the last 48 years. He had mentioned that the reason for the permanent closure is due to the building needing repairs after flooding from heavy rains. Specifically, Dennison mentioned that the roof has been one of the most difficult repairs needing fixed. Over 10 years, local contractors have helped in keeping the roof patched, however, you cannot patch over patches.
Other issues in the church include no air conditioning, an old boiler system and it is not handicap accessible. Dennison said to sum it up, the building is so old that it no longer meets building standards today.
The property the United Methodist Church is located on was originally acquired in 1884, with a small church being built in 1885. The church structure that is in the location now was built in 1915. Dennison said that in the early 1900s there was a membership of over 300 people in the church. He added that the average attendance in the past two years have been around 12 people. This is important because with the size and age of the structure, the church can not financially support repairs as well as utility and pastor salaries.
Most of the members of the church are senior citizens who plan to seek out a new church that they feel comfortable in. While they could follow the pastor, he is retiring at the end of January, so the members will follow where their faith takes them.
This church has been home to the Adamston Lions Club since 1957, as well as the Adamston Grade School children’s backpack program. Dennison said that the lion’s club have relocated to the Calvary United Methodist church, which is blocks down from its previous location. As for the children’s backpack program, Dennison knows that it will continue but is unsure of where these services will now be provided.
Dennison has served the church in many ways other than being just a member. He said, “it’s a sad day. A lot of history in this building, a lot of history in this church. And, it’s just – it’s just very sad that this day has come. I personally have been at this church for – for 48 years. So, my wife and I were married in this church in 1975, our daughters were raised in this church.”
Dennison’s wife has had four different generations grow up going to the church.
The West Virginia United Methodist conference will be taking ownership of the property and will decide between finding another use for it or selling it.