Blacksburg First Wesleyan Church - History
On August 7, 1938, twenty six people met in a tent located where the present day YMCA Thrift Store is on North Main Street in Blacksburg. The purpose of the meeting was to organize the Wesleyan Methodist Church.
During the early years of the church, meetings were held in the homes of Mrs. Welford Roberts and Mr. and Mrs. John Shaver. On August 20. 1939, under the leadership of Reverend Earl T. Gentry, the church broke ground for their first worship center. This was made possible by a donation of land at the corner of Warren and Center Streets by Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Miller. The land is located behind where Lane Stadium is now.
During the formative years of the church, much emphasis was placed on outreach to the surrounding community. The church ran a successful bus ministry for many years. Evangelism has always been the primary concern of the Blacksburg First Wesleyan Church.
The Wesleyan Methodist and Pilgrim Holiness denominations merged to form the Wesleyan Church in 1968. At this juncture the church became the First Wesleyan Church.
In the years to come, God prospered the church. In 1968, two and a half acres were purchased on Giles Road for the purpose of building a new worship facility. Under the leadership of Reverend Charles King, the educational wing of the current church complex was completed. During this period the congregation worshipped in what is today the Fellowship Hall.
On June 9, 1974 the church celebrated and dedicated the newly completed sanctuary. These facilities are still serving the needs of the congregation today.
Reverend King faithfully continued to serve the Church until 1977. Other Pastors who served the congregation include: J. Paul Hill, Earl T. Gentry, Clarence A. Pap, Dwight L. Zavitz, Paul Whiteside, J. Thomas Mostiler, Eugene H. Gentry, C. H. Dotson, Charles S. King, David C. Parkes, Arlie Cook, Raymond B. Powers, and currently John M. Hopkins.
Whether known as the Wesleyan Methodist or the First Wesleyan Church, the church has always attempted to maintain a warm, friendly and loving atmosphere in worship and outreach ministries. A central desire of the congregation is to impact our community with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. All of the church's ministries are geared toward this absolute truth.
Other than the traditional Sunday Service, the church is active in many other ministries:
- An active Sunday school that ministers to all ages.
- Wednesday night bible study.
- A deeply-held commitment to missions, both in the community and around the world.
- Mission auxiliaries including Wesleyan Women and Wesleyan Kids for Missions.
- A monthly outreach project within the church that contributes to the denomination's mission needs, and community projects such as Caring Pregnancy Center and the Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Fund.
- An active nursing home ministry.
- A ministry to the youth of the church.
- Financial support and a yearly work group trip to Hephzibah Children's Home
In 2013, Blacksburg First Wesleyan celebrated the 75th anniversary of the church.
It is a dynamic and growing ministry of Our Lord Jesus Christ