One hundred fifty years ago, West Virginia had not yet been declared a state, but something special was happening in eastern Randolph County.
On Sept. 4, 1859, John Kline and Daniel Thomas entered Mary (Rohrbough) Cooper's home near the top of Allegheny Mountain, east of what is now Harman and conducted the first service of the newly formed Harman Church of the Brethren. It was following the service that the church's first pastor, the Rev. Asa Harman, was appointed to lead the young congregation. The congregation continued meeting in Mrs. Cooper's home during the ensuing years until land could be found for a permanent church building.
The Harman church will host a special observance of that first service at the church on Route 33 east of Harman on Sept. 13 with a program that recognizes the church's position in the community throughout the years and celebrates its rich history. There will be guest speakers and mementos of the past including photos of some of the events the church has hosted.
The church was constructed in the late 1800s and has undergone many changes and improvements including the addition of a fellowship hall in the late 1960s. However, a fire in 1977 gutted more than half of the interior, but the congregation continued meeting in the basement during the rebuilding process. Members of the community and West Marva District helped with the work, which took nearly a year to complete.
Pastor John Moyers welcomes everyone to attend the celebration, which will begin with the regular church service at 11 a.m. A fellowship meal will immediately follow the service. A special program will round out the afternoon, during which former pastors, evangelists and friends of the church and their families will be recognized and invited to share memories of their time at the church.
The public is invited to attend and encouraged to bring any photos or memorabilia pertaining the church that will be displayed at the church throughout the day.