Gormania United Methodist Church


On August 1, 1899 a deed was made between Harriet E. Ruckman of Gormania and John R. Schaeffer, J. N. Bobo, Manifield Aronhalt, George W. Rider, and John Ruckman, Trustees for the use and benefit of the ministry and membership of the Methodist Episcopal Church. This land was conveyed to Harriet by J. H. Dunham and his wife Catherine. This deed was found by Russell Cooper, the members never knew a deed existed for the Methodist Church.

Even though we have church records dating back to 1887, of baptisms marriages, memberships and deaths our church was organized on August 30, 1899 and dedicated in May of 1900.

The first time the Blaine charge is mentioned is in 1893 in the Methodist Episcopal Journal. Blaine was in appointment in the Oakland District. This charge was listed as Mineral County. The only Grant County appointment was Bayard. In 1897 the Blaine charge is listed, at the post office, as Gormania, Preston County. The following year Blaine is finally listed with the post office as Gormania in Grant County. In the statistical tables for 1899 (in the 1900 journal), Blaine had four Sunday Schools and two Churches. In 1900 Blaine had seven schools and seven churches.

Five of the churches were built during the 1899 - 1900 conference year and one of those churches was the Gormania Church. The stone foundation, which was built by Charles H. Ferrebee, was done in August 30, 1899. According to the Methodist Episcopal Times,on May 20, 1900 the Gormania Church was dedicated.

In the churches historical records of 1903 - 1921, it is stated that the Gormania Charge was formed in the fall of 1903 when the conference was in session at Wheeling, West Virginia. E. J. Westfall was appointed to the charge at Wheeling. The pastor entered upon the work under many discouragements. One account was being unable to obtain a house in Gormania and was compelled to live in Bayard until June, making it very unhandy as to the work. At the second quarterly conference, steps were taken to look for a parsonage. A committee was appointed and were successful in buying a house in Maryland or Gormania for $700.00.

In 1918 the Oakland District changed to Elkins District, 1931 to Morgantown District, 1940 to Moorefield District, 1965 to Romney District and finally in 1997 it became known as the Potomac Highlands District and still stands to this date.

On March 19, 1927 the Gormania Methodist Episcopal Church was destroyed by a tornado. J. R. Schaeffer wrote a letter describing the day as the tornado formed and the destruction after the tornado hit. This tornado was also mentioned in the local newspaper The Republican. Rebuilding of the church started immediately. Luther Riley made the concrete blocks and stuccoed the building. On September 4, 1927 the dedication services were held by Superintendent J. E. Wells and the dedication was by J. B. Meryman of Keyser.

In 1939 the Gormania Methodist Episcopal Church got its name changed to the Gormania Methodist Church, due to the Methodist Episcopal, Methodist Protestant and the Methodist Episcopal Church South denominations uniting to form the Methodist Church. The church again had a name change in 1969 to the Gormania United Methodist Church, as it is at the present time, after the merger of the Methodist and the United Brethren in Christ denominations.

In 1994 the church bought the Presbyterian Church, for the building the church had was a two floor building which was falling down and was getting difficult to heat during winter. On October 16, 1994 the church had their first services by Rev. Ben Simmers in their new building. On July 16, 1995 the church was dedicated by Bishop Ives.

The Gormania United Methodist Church Was Forced to Close its doors on Sunday, June 8, 2003 by the District Superintendents because of money, in my opinion they were greedy and did not care about the members of the Church. It was a Sad Day for the Members and for the Pastor.



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