Exterior of the church
|Nearest city||Union, West Virginia|
|NRHP Reference #||74002016|
|Added to NRHP||December 31, 1974|
Rehoboth Church is a historic log cabin-style Methodist church in the countryside of Monroe County, West Virginia, United States, 2 miles (3¼ km) east of the town of Union. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1974, it is renowned for being the oldest existing church building in West Virginia.
Newly-arrived pioneers organized a Methodist church in the vicinity of Union in late 1784. Working together, they built the church in 1785 on the land of Edward Keenan, who had been a leading part of the construction effort. Keenan donated the land both for the church and for its graveyard.
The building was dedicated in 1786 by Francis Asbury, the first Methodist bishop in the United States. After its construction, the church was a center of Methodism: Asbury returned at least three times in the next ten years to lead Annual Conferences at the church.
Built simply of logs hewn from the forest, Rehoboth Church naturally deteriorated as the years passed. Restoration efforts began in 1927, when the entire structure was repaired. By 1930, continuing efforts had seen the erection of a firm shelter for the building: while the original roof was left in place, a large tin roof was set over the entire structure. It has since been recognized by a Methodist church history society, being named a National Methodist Shrine for its place as the most westerly church remaining in the United States built before the Constitution was implemented and the only such church in West Virginia. By the early 1960s, the building was still in sturdy condition, and it was even used periodically for worship services. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 31, 1974. Today, a small museum stands on the site near the church.
- National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- WEST VIRGINIA (WV), Monroe County, nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com. Accessed 2009-01-02.
- Rose, Harold Wickliffe. The Colonial Houses of Worship in America:Built in the English Colonies before the Republic, 1607-1789, and Still Standing. New York: Hastings, 1963, 525-526.
- Rehoboth Church and Museum, General Commission on Archives & History, United Methodist Church, 2008. Accessed 2009-01-02.
- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) No. WV-112, "Rehoboth Church, State Route 3, Union, Monroe County, WV", 1 photo, supplemental material
- Profile from the United Methodist General Commission on Archives and History
- Profile from the West Virginia Archives
- Waymarking page for the Rehoboth Church