Church History

Greenwood United Methodist Church... 142 years of History

Greenwood UMC Founded 1871

A History of Our Church

The earliest recorded history of Greenwood Church dates back to 1871. In that year, Greenwood Chapel is first mentioned in the Journal of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, at which time it was part of the Berkeley Springs Circuit. One can assume this was the first forerunner of the present Greenwood Church.

On January 17, 1873 one acre of land was donated as a church site by Washington Unger. Even though there is no existing record of the building, it’s been said that the first structure was a log building which was soon replaced by a small one room frame building. Trustees of the land included Darius Shockey, George Unger, John Unger, John W. Morrison, William B. Fleece, John Barney, R.B. Buck, and Isaac Bohrer. An article in the local newspaper recounts a Greenwood Sunday School picnic which was held on September 19, 1885 at the church. The picnic opened at 10:00am with the singing of an unnamed hymn. Followed by a prayer given by “Father” Dawson entitled “God’s work in Men’s Hands.” There was a lunch and two hours of social pleasure. At 2:00pm all were called together with the band playing “Hold the Fort.” The Sunday School services were conducted by Mr. Davison, “the faithful superintendent of the Sunday School.

On October 29, 1885, the church bought five acres of land from Washington Unger for the purpose of building a parsonage. Cost was $60. Trustees for this land purchase were John W. Unger, Samuel Whisner and William H. Michael. Improvements were made and on May 21, 1888, this land was sold to Oliver P. Davison for $225.

The Greenwood Methodist Episcopal Church South continued to grow and by 1908, the church was making plans for the present building. The building committee received bids in June for the 32′ x ’42 frame building including a vestibule. Work was to be completed before September 1st. Work was completed slightly early as the dedication of the new sanctuary was held on August 30, 1908.

In 1939, the Methodist Episcopal Church South, the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Methodist Protestant Church merged to form the new Methodist Church. Later in 1968, the general conference of the Methodist church ratified the merger plans of the Evangelical United Brethren and the church became Greenwood United Methodist Church.

In 1982, the church parsonage located at 104 Hagemen Street, Berkeley Springs was sold and replaced by a new parsonage located on Winchester Grade Road. The one acre lot of land was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Charles “Mac” Henry.

There is much more history to this church than what is printed here, but please remember, the history of the church is the story of the people of God. Numerous renovations and purchases have been made over the past 30 years, none of which could have been made possible if it weren’t for the dedicated members, neighbors, and friends of Greenwood United Methodist Church.

Information was gathered from the 1985 Directory: Morgan County, West Virginia and it’s People (article submitted by Mary Ellen Largent) 1981: and the Annual Homecoming 2010 bulletin.