Featured, Local History, The Centennial History of Hurricane

Centennial History of Hurricane: Church Histories: Hurricane First Church of God

In 1988, The Centennial History of Hurricane, WV was published to commemorate the town’s 100th anniversary. The publication included the histories of 16 Hurricane area churches. This week’s selection is the 9th of the church histories which were published in 1988.

Submitted by Rev. J.S. Bailey

The Hurricane First Church of God, 3225 Putnam Avenue, McCann Addition, Hurricane, borders on Putnam and Kanawha Avenues and East Lynn Street.

On September 19, 1948, the church had its beginning with a tent revival conducted by the Rev. J.S. Bailey and his wife, the Rev. Helen R. Bailey. Ruby Kay (Beaver) Sovine was the first convert and the only living active charter member today.

Mrs. Sovine’s husband, Iman Sovine, served as Treasurer, Elder and Sunday School Superintendent before his death in an automobile accident. Since his death, Mrs. Sovine has served as Treasurer for eighteen years.

The first House of Worship was built on a dwelling house plan. Now it is the parsonage.

The second unit was built as a basement unit but above the ground because there was no sewer system to drain the water away. This unit contains six Sunday School rooms, nursery, rest rooms, storage and supply room. Plans are being made and money is available for a baptistry in this unit also.

The third unit is the main church building. The fourth unit is the new Fellowship Hall.

Now, other things are in the prayer and planning stage. The First Church of God has never had a large membership; however, the pastor and his wife, with others, are amazed with what God can do with just a few people if they have a mind to work.

Things have not always been easy for the First Church of God during its almost-forty years in Hurricane. Sometimes in the earlier years, the offering would be one dollar. During revivals the offering would sometimes reach $10. There has been a lot of donated work to help Rev. Jarrett Bailey in the actual building. Rev. Helen Bailey and just a few women have worked hard to help finance the building program by quilting, making and selling apple butter; and one year the ladies cut sugar cane to make molasses to sell. Both Rev. Jarrett and Rev. Helen Bailey know that the Lord has been good to them in furnishing all their needs. They ask prayers that they can continue in their life’s work of helping to lead souls to Christ.

The Baileys have taken turns as pastors. She served for eight years; and he has served for twenty-nine years, a total of thirty-seven years since their beginning with the tent meeting many years ago.

They served for thirty-six years without a break. Rev. Bailey resigned in 1986 but came back to the church as pastor in August, 1987, following Rev. Charles T. Sisk.

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