Historic Churches in Randolph County
The Weese Historic District in Elkins contains three churches: Davis Memorial Presbyterian Church named after businessman and senator Senator Henry Gassaway Davis and designed by architect Charles E. Cassell and built from 1894-95, First Baptist Church (1913), and St. Brendan’s Catholic Church (1927) which is now home to the Randolph County Community Arts Center.
Downtown Elkins also includes two former historically black churches. Shiloh Baptist Church was built in 1897 and sponsored by Henry G. Davis and his brother to serve Elkins’ growing black community. The Virginia Chapel AME Church was first constructed in 1905, then replaced with a concrete building in 1949 that has since been demolished. However you can still see the Riverside school nextdoor which was Randolph County’s only public school for African-Americans during segregation.
The Beverly Historic District includes the Beverly Presbyterian Church and the Beverly Methodist Church, which are both Gothic Revival style buildings. The Methodist Congregation dates from the 1700s and this church was built in 1890. The Presbyterian Congregation formed in 1820, and this church was built in 1869 and enlarged in 1894. Beverly was also home to an AME Church on Fountain Street founded by Rev. Elijah R. Bazier in 1894.
Presbyterians began worshiping in the Tygart Valley as early as 1772 making this one of the earliest congregations west of the Alleghenies, but the current church was not built until 1883. The building was designed by architect Isaac Purcell and built by Italian railroad workers under the direction of Lemuel Chenoweth, who built several bridges also on the National Register.
The historic village of Helvetia was settled by Swiss and German immigrants in the 19th century and many of the structures in the village are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This Presbyterian Church was first built in 1882 with several additions in 1953 and 1963.
On August 9th, 1905 Henry G. Davis sent a $20 check to fund the construction of Glady Presbyterian Church. The church was constructed by employees of the Glady Fork Lumber Company in 1905 when Glady was a booming lumber and railroad town. At the time Glady also had a hotel and several rows of houses. A manse was added three years later to provide housing for pastors. In 1935 the Works Progress Administration built the privy. All three buildings were added to the National Register in 1990. The church can be seen near the trailhead of the West Fork Rail Trail.