Faith

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A new St. John Church in Benwood, W.Va., will be dedicated today after the church was destroyed by fire in 2015.

St. John Church to be dedicated today

BENWOOD, W.Va. — Two years after fire destroyed their church, Benwood, W.Va., Catholics will join Most Rev. Michael J. Bransfield, bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, as he officially opens the new church by celebrating the Mass of Dedication of the Church today at 4 p.m. The ...

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The Rev. David Freshour, left, stands with Bishop Getaneh M. Getaneh, founder of Watch and Pray Ministries. The two will be in Parkersburg, Marietta and St. Marys for meetings Sept. 8-13.

Rev. Freshour returning to Parkersburg area for meetings

PARKERSBURG — A former assistant pastor in Parkersburg who has pastored in the Washington, D.C., area for almost 20 years is returning to the area Sept. 8-13 for a series of meetings with an Ethiopian minister imprisoned and beaten for his faith. The Rev. David Freshour, who co-pastors the ...

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Members of the First Lutheran Church youth mission trip to New York City were, front, from left, Becca Reid, Lauren Swarr, Kaitie Keller, Michelle Onate, Devon Wolfe. Second row, Rachel Puls, Madi Parks, Sarah Smith. Third row, Barb McDowell, Delainey Parks, Krista Keller, Grace Curry, Sarah Wigal. Fourth row, Kevin Howard, Matthew Curry and Pastor Ian Reid.

First Lutheran youth group completes New York City mission trip

PARKERSBURG — First Lutheran Church of Parkersburg youth recently returned from its annual mission trip to New York City. The group was comprised of 12 teenagers accompanied by four adult chaperones, including the church’s senior pastor, Ian Reid, and his wife, Becca Reid. The group ...

Photo by Brett Dunlap
Around 45 people attended a prayer gathering Sunday at the Wood County Justice Center to pray for the well-being and safety of local law-enforcement officers. Around 147 people attended a series of prayer events held throughout the day Sunday in Williamstown, Vienna and Parkersburg near local police agencies.

Wood County residents offer prayer, support for law enforcement

PARKERSBURG — People took time to come out Sunday and pray for local law enforcement officers during the Wood County Law Enforcement Officer Prayer Walk. The second annual event, organized by Greg Hoover of Parkersburg, was originally scheduled in mid-July but had to be postponed. Around ...

Photos by Jeff Baughan
The Rev. Kurt Busiek, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church on 23rd Street in Parkersburg, stands in front of the church. The church is hosting support groups this fall.

Support groups at Parkersburg church stand at crossroads

PARKERSBURG — The Rev. Kurt Busiek offered up one word for a theme for the support groups at Emmanuel Baptist Church and that word was “crossroads.” “A minister gets to be there for the crossroads in a lot of people’s lives,” he said. “Each group meeting here is having people ...

Photo by Kate York
Gus Letto works at unpacking and shelving books and documents he’s donating to the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Churchtown. Letto has been researching the area for nearly 60 years.

Man donates decades of research about Churchtown

CHURCHTOWN— Gus Letto has a near-guarantee for the residents of Churchtown, past and present. “If anybody from this (St. John the Baptist Catholic) parish walks through the door, I can almost certainly tell you your ancestors, including 16 great-grandparents,” he said. Letto, 85, of ...

Pilgrimage to National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception set for Sept. 16

WHEELING — The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston will have a diocesan pilgrimage to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington on Sept. 16, gathering Catholics of West Virginia as one in prayer with the Most Rev. Michael J. Bransfield, bishop of the diocese, ...

Wood County residents elected to United Methodist Foundation of West Virginia

PARKERSBURG — Two Wood County residents are among the new officers and trustees elected by the United Methodist Foundation of West Virginia. David Ellwood of Wheeling was elected chairman of the board. D. Lyn Dotson of Morgantown was elected vice-chairperson. Ben Vincent of Gassaway was ...

Photo provided by Tammi Bradley 
A youth conference held in October with Bishop Jeffrey Monforton included a Procession March that will be similar to the event coming up at the Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption on June 24.

Marietta Basilica part of statue pilgrimage

MARIETTA — A beloved symbol of faith on June 24 will be at the Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption as the Immaculate Heart of Mary makes her pilgrimage through the parishes of the Diocese of Steubenville. The statue is traveling to Marietta after Nelsonville, Carrollton, Steubenville and ...

Family provides snacks for children at Parkersburg church

PARKERSBURG — The first of several bags of snacks were handed out Friday to local children at First Christian Church, 1400 Washington Ave. in Parkersburg. A local family, who wants to remain anonymous, donated $1,000 to purchase 13 food items, such as breakfast bars, juice, pudding, fruit ...

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The Experience Touring Choir from Christ Lutheran Church in Charlotte, N.C., will perform  during the 10 a.m. service June 18 at First Lutheran Church, located at 1701 19th St.

Experience Touring Choir to perform in Parkersburg

PARKERSBURG — The Experience Touring Choir, a 44-member choir from Christ Lutheran Church at Charlotte, N.C., will perform at a combined service at 10 a.m. June 18 at the First Lutheran Church, 1701 19th St. The choir is comprised of 44 high school students who share their faith in Jesus ...

Good Shepherd Episcopal Church to host choir concert

PARKERSBURG — The Touring Choirs of the Choir School of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church of Charlotte, N.C., will offer a concert in Parkersburg on June 15 at 7 p.m. Good Shepherd Episcopal Church at 903 Charles St. will be the site of the concert. Talented young singers from Charlotte’s ...

Twin Rivers Baptist Church celebrating 21st anniversary

WHIPPLE — Twin Rivers Baptist Church at 110 D.A.V. Road, Whipple, will be celebrating its 21st anniversary on Sunday, May 7. The morning service will begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by a meal to be served in the church’s Family Center. A brief afternoon service will follow the meal. There ...

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton
Carrying the cross into First United Methodist Church during the annual Stations of the Cross in downtown Parkersburg is Shane Bowersock.

In His Footsteps

PARKERSBURG — For more than 20 years the annual interfaith Good Friday Stations of the Cross Walk has been a tradition in downtown Parkersburg. Organizers of the event said the bright clear April skies and warmer temperatures brought out one of the largest groups in recent years. Sherry ...

Photo by Jeff Baughan
The Rev. Thad Allen, regional minister for West Virginia, Pennsylvania and parts of Maryland in the Disciples of Christ, stands near the altar of the prayer room at the First Christian Church. Allen is the only regional minister in the Disciples of Christ denomination who oversees two regions.

Allen oversees multiple regions for Disciples of Christ

PARKERSBURG — Within the Disciples of Christ denomination, there are 32 regions in the United States and Canada. In the mid-morning hours the Rev. Thad Allen sits in his second floor office at the denomination’s First Christian Church on Washington Avenue. A cup of coffee in one hand, a ...

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An open house is scheduled 4-6 p.m. today to introduce the new pastor of the Murphytown Baptist Church, Jason Hickman. He is married to his wife, Gayle, and they have two children, Allyson, 10, and Lucas, 5.

Murphytown Baptist Church to hold open house

MURPHYTOWN — The congregation of Murphytown Baptist Church will host an open house to introduce the new pastor, Jason Hickman and his family, 4-6 p.m. today at the church. The church is located five miles east of Parkersburg at the Murphytown Road exit of Route 50. The first road to the ...

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Internationally known gospel pianist Huntley Brown will perform at the First Presbyterian Church in Parkersburg at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 2.

Huntley Brown to perform at Parkersburg church

PARKERSBURG — Internationally known gospel pianist Huntley Brown will perform at the First Presbyterian Church at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 2. The music of Huntley Brown has been described as inspired, anointed, powerful, and explosive. His “electrifying” playing earned him the Top ...

Marietta church preps men’s conference

MARIETTA — What does it mean to be a man? Bill Terry, national director of the Men’s Ministries of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church, plans to help local men of multiple faiths answer that question this weekend during a cross-denominational men’s conference to be held at The ...

Catholic schools official to receive award

PARKERSBURG — An official with the Catholic schools in Parkersburg will receive an award at the annual Bishop’s Dinner in April in Morgantown. Donna Smith, who has served Parkersburg Catholic High School and Elementary School in various roles for the past 13 years, is among five people ...

Williamstown church to host benefit concert

WILLIAMSTOWN —Dunamis Concerts is hosting a contemporary Christian music concert March 25 at the Evergreen Bible Church, located at 118 West Ninth Street, featuring Melody Joy. The church is adjacent to the Williamstown Christian School. A love offering will be recieved. The event will raise ...