Church at Whitby WV

Pauline Haga has written a wonderful article on the Whitby Church. She was kind enough to provide the following information within an article she wrote for the Coal Chronicle in December 1992 titled "Miners, company funded small church." Please note that the portions of the article below are used with permission.

Inside the Whitby Church

A beautiful church and filled with many memories.


"In 1936, the coal miners at Whitby asked the coal company to take a small sum from their pay envelopes each pay period and put the money in a church building fund.

The Operating Coal Company at the time offered to match dollar for dollar with the miners.

It took a couple of years, but by October 1938 the congregation was ready to move in…"

It was constructed by Byus Mankin Lumber Co. in Beckley with an investment of about $4,000. Gray asbestos was its first covering. Today its exterior is white.

The Mines bookkeeper, W.J. Tully was head of the committee to solicit outside funds for the church.

The building committee was headed by P.Q. Warden, superintendant of the Whitby Co. Others on the committee were Rev. C.G. Roark, Methodist Pastor, N.W. Thompson, C.H. Graham and G.W. Nichols.

Credit was also given to the women of the community…The Womens Missionary Society, with Mrs. G.W. Nichols as head, gave dinners and socials to raise funds.

When the first hymn was sung in November 1938, the money in the collection plate was free and clear."

To date, 2005, there are still services in the church. When I was in Whitby and attended Sunday School, I remember large mountains of coal (which were really slate) in the back of the church, not the grass you see now.

Church Memory 1:

My Mom contibutes the following on the Whitby Church:

CHURCH: "These things shall pass away but My word will not pass away." So glad to see that Mark and Bob found the church in remarkably good condition. So many memories in that church!!! I have attended churches in Washington DC, Virginia and Florida areas and none ever will equate where I found God----Whitby church.

My Sunday School teachers were Pansy Stafford, Margaret Mooney, Sue Henley, Hattie Bragg, Patty Thompson Calvert, Ann Mooney and Nell Reuter. Each gave me a Christian foundation which I will always appreciate. Also thanks to my mom, Maggie, who drug me to church, whether or not I wanted to go!

Thanks to Bob and Patti Duncan for your hospitality to Mark during his history lessons of Whitby. Love you guys, Corinne B. Combs-Lockhart.

Church Memory 2:

Thanks to Wade Halsey, Linda Fleshman and my Mom, we have the following recollection of church services at Whitby WV for a members birthday: The children in the congregation would stand and recite (not sing)----

Many happy returns on the day of thy birth, may sunshine and gladness be given, and may the Dear Lord prepare you on earth for a beautiful birthday in heaven.

Church Memory 3:

Nick Thompson recalled sermons in Whitby WV were in the woods and later in the Whitby Elementary School before the construction of the church in ~1938.

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