Monthly Archives: September 2012

Boyd’s Chapel

The second church that Buddy, Emily and I visited on September 16, was Boyd’s Chapel in Leckie. From what I have read on ancestry.com by contributor, Walter M. Bailey, the land that Boyd’s Chapel was built on was donated by John A. Bailey. Bailey had built a room onto his log cabin to serve as a church; however, the church grew quickly and there was need for a building. Bailey not only donated the land, but he also donated time and work for the building of Boyd’s Chapel. According to Walter M. Bailey, there was an article that ran in the Welch Daily News written by Reverend W.S. Barbery on May 27, 1952. The title of the article was “Pioneer Citizen Recalls Early Days In This Area”. This article was written about James Wesley Bailey, brother of John A. Bailey. This article explains the experiences of the Bailey family in the building of the Leckie and Anawalt areas.

© Renee Bolden

Boyd’s Chapel, Leckie, WV

Boyd’s Chapel was named after Isaac Charles Newton Boyd. Boyd had served as Chaplin for the Confederate Home Guard near Abington, Virginia, and came to Leckie in the fall of 1865. He was the first pastor of Boyd’s Chapel. He served there for 15 years. According to ancestry.com, Boyd had to temporarily retire from pastoring the church due to a fall from his horse.

The small road that leads up to Boyd’s Chapel is right in a curve. I was very cautious when pulling off the road. It leads straight to the top of the hill that the church rests on. There’s not a lot of space up there, so I’m sure the parishioners park on the roadside and then walk up the hill. The first thing I noticed when we got to the top of the hill was the cemetery. At first glance, I noticed the old graves. I did not have the time that day to walk through them all. There are many old ones that I would like to see. There is a lot of history to be learned in old cemeteries. Boyd’s Chapel is one of the few churches in the county that I am aware of that has a cemetery in the yard. Brewsterdale has been the only other church that I have visited that has an old cemetery.

I took several pictures of the cemetery and the church. The church was much larger than I thought it was. I’m not sure if this is the same building that was built by Bailey in the 1800’s. My guess is that it is and has been updated and restored throughout the years. As it was a Sunday afternoon, I was unable to go in the church, but would love to see inside and find out more history about the Chapel. If anyone has any more information about Boyd’s Chapel, please let me know. I understand it to be one of the oldest churches in the county. I wish I could have found out more about the church that day to share.

© Renee Bolden

Boyd’s Chapel, Leckie, WV

If anyone has any information about churches in McDowell County, please contact me at (304) 732-7578, (304) 320-5340 or at renee.bolden@me.com.

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Jenkinjones United Methodist Church

© Renee Bolden

Jenkinjones Methodist Church, Jenkinjones, WV

This past Sunday, Buddy, Emily, and I drove to Jenkinjones. There is an operating Methodist church that I had not taken pictures of. When we got there, Emily asked if it was a castle.

I think this little church is beautiful. The sign in the yard is barely readable. You can just barely see at the bottom it says, “Jenkinjones United Methodist”. The most visible part of the sign is the Methodist flame.

I found the cornerstone on the left side of the steps that simply said Dec. 1916. This year will mark it’s 96th year of existence. When I close my eyes, I can see this little church when it was brand new. I can see a cold, wintry Sunday morning. All the houses have smoke billowing from their chimneys. I can see the company store standing, although the doors are locked and closed because it is Sunday. I can see the churches with horses and buggies surrounding them, and a few cars for those fortunate enough to have them. When I look up to the left of this church, I can see the tall and long wooden train trestle that is the highway that carries our McDowell County black gold out. There are people hurrying into church to get warm and hear the Word preached. There is joy everywhere! Here is the new church and better yet, it is almost Christmas! I hear someone shoveling coal and stoking the furnace, the horses stomping and neighing, the church bells ringing.

© Renee Bolden

Jenkinjones Methodist Church, Jenkinjones, WV, Cornerstone

When I close my eyes, I can see all that. But when I open them, all I can do is imagine it. I can see the many old houses that are standing in Jenkinjones. I can see the old company store with no windows or doors that proudly says “Pocahontas Coal and Fuel”. I can see the old train trestle still standing that a train hasn’t passed over in years. But what is that sound? Just faintly, I can hear a ghost whistle and the chug of the locomotive, the whisper of the voices that echoed in this holler, the sound of the cash register ringing up a sale paid with scrip.

This church has stood the time of all those people being in Jenkinjones to the few that still remain today. The good Lord above has made sure that these little churches are still operating to spread the Good News and to give people a Hope. We can never give up hope.

“Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12.

© Renee Bolden

Jenkinjones Methodist Church, Jenkinjones, WV

I would love to know the history and take some inside pictures of this church and all of the churches I have visited. If anyone has any information on any churches, please contact me at (304) 732-7578, (304) 320-5340 or at renee.bolden@me.com.

All photos copyright of Renee Bolden


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