Marion County pastor celebrates 34 years with church


FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Reverend Wesley Dobbs celebrated a new milestone this weekend — 34 years as the pastor of the same church. Morning Star Baptist Church commemorated the anniversary at this weekend’s service.

“It was hard for me to imagine 20 years. I said, ’20 years at one church is a long time, but 34 years is unimaginable.'”

– Rev. wesley dobbs
Official response to COVID-19 outbreak in Marion County yields mixed  reaction from African American church community |
Dobbs was born and raised in Fairmont.

Dobbs’ journey to Morning Star Baptist Church was unlike many that walk in the door every Sunday. He converted to Baptism after his youth, getting ordained shortly thereafter. In 1987, he was named pastor at the same church he stood before this weekend.

Dobbs had seen his family grow over time — and not just his actual family, which is quite large. At 81, he is married to his wife, Cynthia, with whom they have seven children, ten grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren together. In addition, Dobbs was thankful for the community’s response when he arrived at the church, and still to this day, growing his family even more.

“My family to me is very important. I will do anything in the world for them. Support them in any way as long as it is the right way,” Dobbs said.

As the calendar turned toward 2020, Dobbs began to contemplate retiring. However, when the coronavirus pandemic struck the area, he felt that he could not step away, and instead help guide the members of his congregation that needed it. To this day, he felt that that job was not finished, requiring everyone wear masks and sit socially distant from one another while in service.

When he feels the pandemic is behind the community, Dobbs will look towards retirement once again. Even then, Dobbs said he will still be around church every Sunday and would be there for those who need it. Until then, Dobbs said he was still going strong and happy to greet his congregation every weekend.

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