The Presbyterian Church, the church in the "THE OTHER HALF OF TOWN" photo.
Sometime during the 1850's Mrs. Phillip Pendleton gathered scholars for a Sunday School in Garrett County, Maryland in the neighborhood of Fort Pendleton. Rev. C. N. Campbell, licentiate of Wincherster Presbytery, preached by request in a building on the farm. Out of this School grew the Winston Church Organization. Mrs. Pendleton was also largely instrumental in securing the erection of a church building which stood near Fort Pendleton.
"Winston Church" was organized by a committee of Winchester Presbyterian, consisting of Rev. W. H. Foote, D.D.; Rev. W. B. Wilson and Rev. M. W. Woodsworth on Dec. 1859. There were about 10 members with D. C. Tabb as Elder. By the war the members were scattered and the building badly dismantled, only the frame being left and that was burned in 1883. Finally the church was disorganized by Winchester Presbytery.
While William Cosner was pastor of the Presbyterian Church in the Alleghaney field, he preached once a month in Garrett Co. Maryland in a union church called Oak Grove. Four members were received and attached to the Alleghaney Church.
When Rev. F. W. T. Pittman succeeded Mr. Cosner (died 1881) he preached at Oak Grove and Afterward at the school house nearby. He then began to preach in a boarding house in Gorman, Maryland. Four or five members were received by him and their names enrolled as members of Allegheny Church. During this time he took measures to raise money to build a Presbyterian Church at Gormania, Grant Co., WV. But before the necessary amount was raised, Mr. Pittman accepted a call to the Presbyterian Church at Poolesville, Maryland.
The Rev. M. W. Woodsworth, pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Davis, WV., began preaching at Gorman and Oak Grove, and under his leadership and direction the money was raised and a church built at Gormania, WV. in 1888.
Mr. Woodsworth continued to preach at Gormania and Oak Grove for about six years and laid a solid foundation for Presbyterianism. Those who during these years made profession of their faith in Christ had their names enrolled as members of the presbyterian Church at Davis, WV. In the summer of 1894 Mr. Woodworth notified the Chairman of the Home Mission Committee of Winchester Presbytery of his intention to leave the field and asked that someone be sent to take his place. He left in November.
In January 1895 the Rev. L. A. McLean, Synodical Evangelist of the Synod of Virginia, was sent by the Home Mission Committee to preach at Gormania. Through unusually severe weather M. McLean labored faithfully, preaching every night for four weeks, holding prayer meetings in the afternoon and visiting from house to house. By the blessing of GOD upon his labors, many professed faith in Jesus Christ.
A petition bearing the signatures of fifty persons was sent to Winchester Presbytery, at a meeting at Woodstock,VA. April 16, 1895, asking that a Presbyterian Church be organized at Gormania. This petition was granted and a commission consisting of Rev. George W. White, D.D.; Rev. H. C. V. Campbell and Rev. M. W. Woodworth, also ruling elders W. N. Guthrie and John Daily, M.D. were appointed to go to Gormania and organize a church May 14, 1895. The commission met at time and place appointed, there being present, the following: Rev. Geo. W. White, D.D., Rev. M. W. Woodworth and Rev. H. C. V. Campbell. After a sermon by Mr. Campbell, Dr. White took the moderators chair and the commission proceeded with its business.
Upon call, they were handed to the moderator the names of the following persons, who held certificates of membership in other churches, and who desired to unite with the church to be organized at Gormania:
Mrs. Mary Nydeggar Miss Mary Chisholm Mrs. Lottie C. Wilson Miss Nettie Jones Mrs. Estelle Shillingburg Mrs. Bessie Beckman Mrs. Jennie Shillingburg Miss Lottie Wilderson Mrs. Ella Baker Mrs. E. F. Williams Mrs. Sudie High Mrs. Sophonia Hillery Miss Joanna Kitzmiller Miss Sarah Cooper Mrs. Jennie Friend Mrs. Rachael Neville Mrs. Mary Wilderson Miss Annie Pearl High Mrs. W. J. Wilson Mrs. Hellen J. Violett Miss Grace Chisholm Mrs. Mary Ann Hartman
The call was then made for those who recently signified their desire to enter into the communion of the church upon profession of their faith and the following persons responded:
Mr. W. R. Neville Mr. C. A. Wolfe Mr. Peter Chisholm Dr. W. G. Drinkwater Mr. G. T. Stonebraker Mrs. Adah Drinkwater Mr. J. H. Beckman Mr. Loren High Mr. John B. Kaylor Mr. L. M. Foley Mr. Phillip Kaylor Mr. S. H. Mickey Mr. Frank Kaylor
With up lifted hands they renewed their vows to love and serve the Lord. These Thirty-five persons then declared their intentions to enter into the organization of a church. Others whose names were signed to the petition to Presbytery and who had made a profession of their faith before Mr. McLean, were presented by a snow storm from being present. The Organization was then preceeded with in accordance with the "Book of Church Order" Chapter 2 -Sec. 5 - Par. 27-2. On motion it was decided to elect officers by ballot and Mr. John Henry Beckman and Wilbert George Drinkwater, M.D. were elected Elders. Mr. William Randolph Neville, Mr. Loren High and Mr. W. J. Wilson were elected Decons. It was decided to proceed at once with the ordination and installation of the elders and decons elected; all except Mr. Wilson (who was absent) were regularly inducted into the respective officers in accordance with "Book of Church Order" Chap. 6, Sect. 4, Par. 112-2.
On motion it was decided to vote by ballot for a pastor and to proceed at once with the election. Licentiate A. C. Hopkins, Jr. was elected and a "Call" for one-fourth of his time (the other three-fourths being given to Bayard and Elk Garden) was made out and ordered to be signed by the Elders and Decons for the congregation.
On Motin it was decided to call the church "Gormania Presbyterian Church".
The pastor elected accepted the call, and began his labors Sunday Morning, June 16, 1895 with a sermon from John 1:42.