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Kadesh Chapel United Methodist Church to Celebrate 231 Years

Kadesh Chapel United Methodist Church is the oldest church in northern West Virginia. Methodism was brought across the Allegheny Mountains by Reason Pumphrey  who settled in Washington, Pa. (then known as Catfish) and held religious classes in 1772, 12 years before the Christmas Conference organized American Methodism in 1784

He was the father of the Pittsburgh Conference, according to Raymond M. Bell, PH.D. of Washington, Pa.  Reason Pumphrey’s second cousin, Richard Owings, founded the Redstone Circuit, and with Wilson Lee attended the Christmas Conference.  In 1785 Lee came to Pumphreys’ in Beech Bottom, following directions from Owings.

The location is in Brooke County, but was then still part of Ohio County, Va.  Lee then went to West Liberty, Short Creek and Wheeling in his preaching circuit, traveling by horseback.

The fifth Methodist Church building in West Virginia was an 18 foot by 20 foot log cabin on the Harrison Farm near Pettit Heights in 1788. Then the congregation bought an acre of land from Joseph Hedges in 1793 at the present site. John Spahr of Short Creek attended this new church, Kadesh Chapel, and then in 1805 gave land for the Short Creek Church.  Kadesh is Hebrew for holy or sacred.

Reason Pumphrey’s son Caleb established the West Liberty Methodist Church, and in 1798, his brother William helped establish the First Ohio Methodist Church at Hopewell in Jefferson County.

The Kadesh Chapel church building of today was built in 1852 and will celebrate its 231st anniversary of spreading the Good Word on Sunday, Sept. 18. All are invited to attend a church service at 11 a.m., a covered dish dinner at noon followed by special music and history at 1:30 p.m.

This article was submitted from the writings of John C. McCord.

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