First United Methodist Church in downtown Clarksburg is getting a spring cleaning, as the church has started a two-month “repainting, cleaning and sealing” process on its historic worship and ministry center located at the corner of 2nd and Pike Streets.

The church not only serves as the home for its local congregation, but is also a spiritual and community center for many other groups and activities.

“We are delighted to be able to host so many community groups, to address so many community needs,” states Don Gardner, Clarksburg native and Director of Music at the church for 38 years. “Seven twelve-step groups meet here weekly throughout the year, including any and all holidays when other meeting sites may be closed. We also open our doors regularly to the Clarksburg Mission, United Way, the Association of Retired School Employees, the Retired Nurses Association, the Woman’s Club of Clarksburg, and to many other groups – sacred and secular – as possible. We strive to honor the United Methodist statement of “Open Hearts – Open Minds – Open Doors” as best we can.”

The current church building was opened in 1956 after a tragic fire in 1951 destroyed the previous building.

“In June of 1956, 60 years ago, the first service was held in the newly constructed sanctuary, in the current structure. First United Methodist literally rose from the ashes to continue its presence in Clarksburg,” said Rev. Rick Sale, senior pastor of First United Methodist Church.

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The church believes it is important be a good neighbor in the community, according to Rev. Sale.

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“Though the structures have changed through the years, our presence and ministry in the community have been constant. And, we take seriously the importance of being a good neighbor as far as the appearance of the church, as well,” said Sale. “The money used for the current work is designated for such usage, and is not taken from that which goes for mission work, local and global. I am proud of our congregation who annually contributes nearly $40,000 to minister to those in need – in Clarksburg, in Harrison County, and wherever around the world we can.”

The current work on the church’s exterior is being done by Wilson Restoration of Pittsburgh, and is scheduled to be completed in mid-June.

Photo in article: First United Methodist Church as seen in 1909.