Trinity United Methodist Charge
Saturday, September 26, 2020

Crim Church History




            Methodism in this area dates to the recorded visit of Bishop Francis Asbury on July 10, 1788*. The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in Philippi in 1837, with the first church in Philippi (town known as Phillippa prior to 1869) being built 1851-54 at the site of the present Baptist Church on land previously occupied by the blacksmith shop of Jacob Ashenfelter. It was founded by Dr. John W. Reger. A parsonage was evidently built nearby. Because it was the only house of worship in town, it was used by other denominations. According to David Shaw describing Philippi before the Civil War in the BARBOUR DEMOCRAT in 1918, this building “became a veritable dynamo of religious activity. The regular weekly prayer meetings commanded approximately a full house. The every Sunday Class meeting showed as much religious fervor as the modern day revival and the regular Sunday school created more stir among the young folks than a Modern Fourth of July Picnic.” Lacking a church bell, the court house bell called people to services. The church was very active with much of the activity due to two distinguished members, Samuel Woods and D. F. Byrer.   During the Civil War, Union Soldiers occupied the church and it was reportedly used as a hospital, with the Federal Government later paying $700 for damages.

            The Methodist Episcopal built a new church in 1886 (dedicated October 16, 1887) on land donated by Samuel Wood at the site of the present IGA parking lot at Cross and Main Streets (later known by many as Ryan’s Book Store) and became known as the Main Street Church. In the beginning it was part of a circuit, but in 1903 it became a separate station.

            Prior to the beginning of the Civil War, the denomination split mainly over the issue of slavery, and the Methodist Episcopal South was formed. The first church of the new denomination in this area was erected in the fall of 1866 near the site of the present Heart and Hand center on Walnut Street. It was named “Doggett Chapel” in honor of Bishop David Seth Doggett of Virginia. When this church burned in the great fire November 17, 1900, the need for the present building became apparent. For a time, the congregation worshipped at the Presbyterian Church. Doggett’s Chapel may be considered the mother church of Crim Memorial.


1788--Visit of Bishop Francis Asbury to Area

1837--Methodist Episcopal Church organized

1845--Methodist Episcopal South formed

1851-54 ME church built (Site of present Baptist Church)

1877--Doggett Chapel (Site of present Heart and Hand)  (Burned 1900)

1887--ME Main Street Church (Present IgA)

1905--Crim Memorial ME Church South built

1940--Philippi-Crim Memorial Church (National merging of two branches of Methodism)

1956--name changed to Crim Memorial Methodist Church

1968--renamed Crim Memorial United Methodist Church (When Evangelical United Brethren Church

         and Methodist Church merged)