Church History

The Church

The Furches Blevins family, like many other families of the day, left their home in Cleghorn Valley, Virginia, for work in the newly opened Pocahontas Coal Fields in McDowell County, West Virginia. They settled in a small community which was no more than a bend in the road, commonly called Spencer’s Curve, near the early mining town of Jeanette, which had later come to be called Anawalt.

Their children were small, and the work was hard, but there were other folk here from back home in Virginia who had also made the move. This made it seem more like home. One of the preacher’s from back home, Brother O.C. Sturgill, came to pastor just across the mountain at the Crozier Baptist Church at Elkhorn, WV, where there were other friends and relatives.

The Blevins were satisfied for a time to live and work near Anawalt and to drive out to other areas to go to church, but growing concern for the future welfare of their own children and grandchildren as well as for so many other families all around them in their own community moved them to action. There was a great need for a church (literally) right here in their own back yard.

Late in the summer of 1942, Mrs. Blevins wrote home to Reverand Emanuel Blevins, pastor of the Grose’s Creek Baptist Church in Smith County, Virginia, about the possibility of him coming to West Virginia to preach. His return letter requested that they schedule a Sunday meeting and that he would come.

The meeting was scheduled and someone brought Preacher Emanuel the long drive for the 2:00 pm service at the Blevins home. The Blevins family was present, Mr. & Mrs. Blevins, Ola, Irene, Gertrude, Bessie and husband Joseph Barnett Yates, the Lee & Myrtle Goss family along with many friends and neighbors. At the close of the service a call for prayers was made, and everyone came forward.

Preacher Emanuel was burned to return for a revival. Exchanges of correspondence followed. In November of 1942, Brother Emanuel Blevins returned to WV with Brother Byrum Sturgill for a revival meeting. Two rooms on the first floor of the Blevins home had been prepared for the meeting using wooden boards across pop crates for makeshift benches.

The meeting began on November 15, 1942, with the two preachers talking night about preaching while standing in the doorway between two filled rooms, with Brother Sturgill’s sermon, “Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head.” (Luke 9:58) being the most remembered text. The meeting went for two full weeks and was a great success. Souls were saved, and Christians were encouraged.

On November 28, 1942, a special meeting was held to consider whether it would be deemed wise to organize a Baptist church in the community. After fully investigating the matter, and after prayerful consideration, Reverand Emanuel Blevins and Reverand Byrum Sturgill decided that it would be wise and set the date of February 1, 1943, to return for the purpose of organizing and independent Missionary Baptist Church.

On February 1, 1942, Reverand Emanuel Blevins, Reverand Byrum Sturgill, and Reverand Ambrose A. (Doc) Blevins, returned to WV for the purpose of organized the church at Spencer’s Curve. The council convened, the articles of faith were read, and a call for letters was made. Four letters were read from the Cleghorn Valley Baptist Church, and ten letters were read from the Crozier Baptist Church. A total of fourteen charter members were received into the church. By unanimous vote, Reverand Byrum Sturgill was pastor, and Bessie Yates, Clerk of the newly formed Longpoint Missionary Baptist Church.

On Saturday, February 7, 1943, a business conference was held. An open door was published to the church for the reception of members. Five came forward for Baptist: J.B. Yates, Irene Overbaugh, Marshall Stiles, Bessie Overbaugh, and Mary Parks. Three new members came in by letter, and four by recommendation, making a total now of 26 members. With the beginning of a Sunday school, membership and attendance continued to grow reaching a record of 144. The church was in need of a building.

Planning began, but when efforts to secure the land on the knoll (the church is named for this “long point”), near the old Spencer house failed, the people were determined to do something. Mr. Dollar made the first cash contribution toward the building, and Mr. Blevins donated the lot on which the church was built. Many more contributions were made, always sufficient, building materials were purchased, and under the supervision of dear old Grandpa Sexton, he church building was erected.

The first service held in the building was a program for Christmas 1943. The past year had been an eventful one, with the world still at war. As the new year began, in Europe, the Allies were preparing for D-Day. The little church was preparing for a Harvest of Souls.

The Building

For a number of years, the building sat flat on the ground. The basement and additions at the rear came later. When the building sat flat on the ground, there was an extra door on the left side of the Vestibule.

There was a window on each side where the dressing room doors are now before the additions were made. The basement area provided space for a furnace room, bathrooms, closet and Sunday school rooms. There were also high cinder block banisters on either side of the front steps.

The first addition at the rear made room for an under the floor baptistery in the pulpit area accessible by a trap door. The second addition included a new baptistery with dressing rooms, and a stained glass window.


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