History of the Ravenswood United Pentecostal Church by Noreda McKemy
The year was 1955 and there was not a Pentecostal Church in Jackson County, WV. Rev. and Mrs. Billy Cole erected a 40 x 60 tent in the center of the town of Ravenswood, WV, near Sand Street on a vacant lot next door to the Almon family. The tent belonged to the West Virginia District of the United Pentecostal Church.
The Coles held a month long revival and sixteen people received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost … Sis. Almon was the first! Music for the revival was played by Sis. Shirley Cole on the accordion.
The Neville family came to Bro. Cole and told him that they had some used lumber they wanted to donate to build a church. They also donated a lot for use behind their house north of Henrietta Street. A 24 x 40 house was erected without partitions with the idea that they would be able to sell it at a later date that someone could use as a house. Bro. John Neville later worked it out so that the Coles would be able to buy the property with an adjacent lot and house. The property, with the church was eventually given to the church.
The Coles lived in Parkersburg and traveled back and forth to Ravenswood. At times, neighbors provided a room for them and food. By the time they left in 1960, the the atndance was around 50. Brother and Sis. Cole, with their daughter, Brenda, gave up the church and began evangelizing in 1960. A few years later the Coles went to Thailand as missionaries.
Several ministers pastored the church during the following years. Some of them were Rev. Sam Wolfe, Rev. Gene Wolfe, and Rev. Russell Long.
While Bro. Long was pastoring, the church bought property on Hemlock Road (where the church is today) and started construction of a building in September 1968. The first service in the new church was held in January, 1969. Rev. Long left in 1972.
For the next three years Rev. Schaffer, Rev. Sam Wolfe and Rev. Gene Wolfe filled the pulpit. During Christmas vacation in 1975, Rev. and Mrs. Frank Adkins, with their three children; Crystal, Chris and Carissa, tried out for the church. They were unanimously voted in … there were 21 in attendance that night.
Rev. Adkins officially took over the church February 3, 1976. A new sanctuary was built on the property and dedicated in June 1996. One of the daughters, Crystal, had married Rev. David Johnston in 1990. They were helping out at a church in North Charleston but God began to deal with them about going to Ravenswood. Rev. Adkins was showing signs of illness and it was necessary at times for Bro. Johnston to fill the pulpit.
In 1997, Rev. Johnston was voted in as co-pastor. Bro. Adkins retired in December 1999 and Pastor Johnston became pastor and continues to serve. The church has grown and continues to grow under his leadership. A new Sunday School addition was built in 2001 with four Sunday School rooms, a pastor’s office, evangelists’ quarters, restrooms and storage.