History of the Church - Timeline 2019


- information compiled by Stanley Wood

CONTENTS: The Kenova United Methodist Church is the result of combining and changes of the churches listed below. 

Part 1. Kenova Methodist Episcopal Church; 1894 - 1940 (our original church)

Part 2. Kenova Methodist Episcopal Church, South; 1922 - 1940

(The two churches above merged to for the Kenova Methodist Church in 1940)

Part 3.  Kenova Methodist Church; 1940 - 1968

Part 4.  Kenova United Methodist Church; 1968 - present

In 1890, The Grace Episcopal Church was organized by L.T. Peck and Charles C. Coe. The church building was located on the northwest corner of 18th & Chestnut Streets.  The church building was moved here from Volcano, W. V.  The building came down the Ohio River on barges. The church was later disbanded because of the lack of interested members. This is mentioned because the Kenova Methodist Episcopal Church used this building in its      beginning.


October 28, 1894, The Kenova Methodist Episcopal Church was organized mainly by Rev. E.A. Davis the first pastor. Rev. Davis was already pastor of the Ceredo Church. The histories of the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Kenova and the Methodist        Episcopal Church of Ceredo of Ceredo were closely intertwined.

 On Nov. 21, 1895, a lot was purchased at 16th & Sycamore Streets for a church building. This deed for the lot was made by John H. Dingee and his wife Helen to the Church Trustees - Hamilton    Willis, Harrison Piles, Moses J. Smith, Joseph Davis, and Ulysses Brown.

The original church was a small white frame church built on the lot and valued at $1,450.  The debt on this building was paid in 1903 and a dedication service was held Sept. 27, 1903.

Ministers in Chronological Order

 1.   E.A. Davis 1894

 2.   M.D. Booth

 3.   F.M. Cain

 4.   R.E. Rickey

 5.   E.J. Westfall

 6.   G.L. Carder

 7.   M.A. Banker

 8.   Rev. John W. Johnson

 9.   Rev. McClintock

10.  James T. Johnson

11.  Rev. L. E. Leslie

12.  Rev. Edward H. Heller

13.  William F. Sheppard 1908

In 1910, a lot near 15th & Poplar was purchased. 

14.  E. Francisco Connolly (1910 - 1911)

In 1911, Sycamore St. Church Building was moved to 15th & Poplar.  A pastor wrote in 1911, there were 15-20 in Sunday School.

15. H.N. Newell (1911-1912):  15 members added by profession of Faith.

16. W.M Fallen (1912-1915)

17. W.N Frasure (1915-1919)

In 1919, an adjoining lot was purchased so that a new building could be constructed.

In 1921, plans for the new church building were made while T. S. Bostic was pastor.

18.  T.S. Bostic (1919-1922)

19.  J. S. Thornburg (1922-1929)

In 1922, under the leadership of J.S. Thornburg, the new church building was built.   

In 1923, a new parsonage was built beside the church on the southwest corner of 15th & Poplar St.  The parsonage was dedicated June 1923.

20. Rev. Grover J. Johnson (1929-1930)

21.  Rev. T. Hayes (1930-1933)

22.  Rev. C.C. Yates (1933-1940)

The Kenova Methodist Episcopal and the Kenova Methodist Episcopal Church South were united in 1940 after the "Methodist Unification" in 1939.  Methodist Unification in 1939 was the union of the three Methodist Churches, - the Methodist Episcopal Church, The Methodist Episcopal Church, South and the Methodist Protestant Church. This Unification was a giant step in the history of Methodism. 



In 1922, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South was organized through the efforts of Rev. Anderson L. Moore, assisted by Reuben Osborne, Sr. (Lucian Osborne's father), Bernie Hudgens, and others. An earlier attempt to organize was the Grace Episcopal Church listed above. 

In 1923, a lot was purchased on the south side of Poplar St. between 16th & 17th Streets. 

In 1925, the building was finished and dedicated by Bishop         Darlington.

Pastors of the Kenova Methodist Episcopal Church in Chronological order.

1.  Rev. Ivy York (1922 - ?)

2.  Rev. E.C. Caton

3.  Rev. J.N. Herald

4.  Rev. J.C. Campbell

5.  Rev. H.A. Perkins

6.  Rev. Summers

7.  Rev. B.M. Keith

8.  Rev.  Ivy Yoak

In 1939, the Methodist Unification was the union of the Methodist Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and the Methodist Protestant Church nationally. 

In 1940, The Kenova Methodist Episcopal Church, and the Kenova Methodist Episcopal Church, South united and were now call the Kenova Methodist Church.

 After the unification of 1939, The Kenova Methodist Episcopal Church, South building was rented to the Kenova Church of God and later sold to that church.  (This church building is still located at that location, 1616 Poplar St.)


1940 The Kenova Methodist Episcopal and the Kenova Methodist Episcopal Church, South were united in 1940 after the "Methodist Unification" in 1939.  Methodist Unification in 1939 was the union of the three Methodist Churches, - the Methodist Episcopal Church, The Methodist Episcopal Church, South and the Methodist Protestant Church. This Unification was a giant step in the history of Methodism. 

23.  Dr. E. J. Westfall returned to the Kenova Methodist Church as an elderly man.  1940-?

24.  Rev. J.R. Bright (?-1945)

25.  Rev. J. Everett McClung (1945-1948)

26.  Rev. Virgil Conant (1948-1953)

In 1950, the church building was enlarged, redecorated, and the educational building was added. The new building was 30ft. by 110ft., This addition contained 17 new classrooms.  The sanctuary was lengthened and remodeled, and a garage, washroom, and Boy Scout room was added.

27.  Rev. W.A. Debar (1953-1956),

In 1955, new pews were purchased for the sanctuary.

28.  Rev. John Quinn Geiger (1956-1960)

In 1958, the church bought Dr, B.D. Garrett's doctor's office building which was adjoining the church property to the south.  Dr. Garrett had died in 1952.

29.  Dr. Joseph D. Dryfield.  (1960-1962)

30.  Rev. Rola John Matheny (1962 - 1963)

31.  Rev. Rhenus Lyman O'Dell (1963-1965) 

In 1965, Rev. O'Dell worked with the congregation in designing and starting work on the narthex, spire, and cross on the front of the church. This work was completed after Rev. Alva T. Stewart became pastor in 1965. 


In 1968, The merger of the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church brought into existence a church of more than 10 million members.  This was named "The United Methodist Church" - as it is currently known.

32.  Rev. Alva T. Stewart (1965-1970)

In 1966, narthex addition was dedicated on May 7th.            

In 1969, the Kenova United Methodist Church purchased a house located on the north east corner of 17th & Chestnut Streets for the church parsonage.

33.  Rev Clifford Galen Schell (1970 -1987)

In 1972, a new baptistry was built in the basement of the Church Building. This baptistry was dedicated on Nov. 19, 1972.

In 1977, the Administrative Board Chairman selected a committee to survey membership to get ideas on expansion possibilities.

In 1978, the process of planning a new building was started and by June 1978 $139,594.50 was pledged to the Building Fund. The church building plans continued.

On April 1, 1979. a groundbreaking service was held on the church lawn (in pouring rain) and construction started.

In 1980, the first service was held in the new sanctuary and fellowship hall addition.

34.  Rev. William "Bill" Miller (1987-1995)

In 1992, Lemaster property on Poplar St adjoining the church was purchased.

In 1994, The Church centennial celebration.

35.  Dr. Ford W. Price (1995 - 2004)

In 1996, the final part of the Poplar St. parking lot was purchased.

In 1997, the Office building (Youth, now Scout Building) on the  corner of 15th & Chestnut was purchased.

In 2000, the Parsley property on Poplar St. adjoining the Lemaster property was purchased.

In 2003, a new addition was completed at the cost of 1.6 million.

36.  Rev. William "Bill" DeMoss (2004) Interim Pastor

37.  Rev. Lindsay Thorp (2004 - 2011)

38.  Rev. Jim Richards (2011 - present)

In 2014, The Adkins-Rollins Senior Center on Chestnut St. was   purchased and $150,000 was added to the building loan.  This building was renamed “The Gathering Place” and serves as a community and family life center.  Some examples of the various church activities include:  the Youth Group, the Backpack Ministry for the area schools, The Christmas Shoebox Ministry, Needy Children’s Christmas workshop, AA, etc. 

In 2019, the 1.75 million building loan was paid off.