History

West Liberty United Methodist Church History

Methodism originated in Morgan County at Grassy Creek thru the efforts of Thomas Goodwin. The first Methodist Church in West Liberty was organized by W. O. Burns and Dr. Willis Carter. It was a frame building on Main Street about a block from the present site. The building burned around 1911 and the brick church was then built on the corner of Main and Prestonsburg Streets in 1913.

The most outstanding feature of this building was the six stained glass windows. These windows were thought to have been made in the Bavarian section of Germany and were intended for a large church being built in New York City. That church was unable to purchase these windows so the West Liberty congregation was able to obtain six of the windows with the companion windows going to the Hazard Methodist Church. In 1959, The Progressive Farmer magazine conducted a contest to locate the most beautiful and suitable church windows in the rural south. The West Liberty United Methodist Church won first place with The Good Shepherd window.

A church educational annex was added in 1968. In 1974 a new brick parsonage replaced the former parsonage located next door to the church. On June 15, 1982, a 35 foot steeple was erected and secured to the top of the bell tower. This was topped with a gold cross and restored the church to its original appearance.

The interior of the sanctuary was redecorated several times thru out the years. The last redecoration was completed in 1997. Many items were given in honor or in memory of members of the church.

The church was completely destroyed by the tornado that came through West Liberty on March 2, 2012. The parsonage next door was also heavily damaged and was later sold and moved. A new parsonage on 865 Main Street was purchased in August 2012. Plans have been made to rebuild the church on the former site. The congregation hopes to be in the new building within the next year (2014).