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Page 2

The Methodist Historical Heritage left by

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Glossary of United Methodist Terms
Taken from: Prominent Personalities in American Methodism 1945 (supplied by the Sanders daughters-Jan 2004)

SANDERS, JOHN STUART:     Cashier, American Coal Company, McComas, W.Va. Lay Leader, Bluefield Dist, W. Va. Conf.
  • May 14, 1903, Tazewell, VA

  • son of:
  • Harvey Morton and Mary (Compton) Sanders

  • married:
  • Mabel Cynthia Mary Kennedy, Aug 15, 1922
  • children:
  • Margueritte Virginia
  • Ramona Ann
  • Cynthia Mary
  • Marie Stuart

  • education:
  • Summit City Business College, one year

  • member of:
  • N.E. Juriad. Conf., 1940, 1944
  • Gen. Commission Evangelism, 1940-44
  • Juriad, Bd. of Evangelism, 1944-48
  • Assoc.Conf. Lay Leader of W. Va. Conf. for four years
  • Bishop's Survey Commission for the W. Va. Conf., Conf. Commission on Evangelism
  • Masons
  • Kiwanis

  • sport:
  • Fishing

  • address:
  • McComas, W. Va.
  • The following is a letter (supplied by the Sanders daughters-Jan 2004) written by J.A. Earl covering the accomplishments of John Sanders regarding the Methodist Church, his family, and work.

    J. A. Earl
    Christian Advocate Reporter of W.Va Conference
    McComas, W.Va.

              John Sanders of McComas, who has served 18 years as Bluefield District lay leader or a longer period than any other leader in the state, is the delegate again from his church to the W.Va. Annual Conference of the Methodist Church in Buckhannon, W.Va, June 1-5. Since Methodist Union in 1939, he has represented the W.Va. Conference in every Jurisdictional Conference, the conference that elects bishops. He has also been a delegate to the Quadrennial, General Conference of the Methodist Church - the conference that makes the Laws and Discipline.

             A graduate of Summit City Business College and cashier of the American Coal Company, John Sanders knows the Methodist Church as few laymen do. In one year he visited with the district superintendent every Fourth Quarterly Conference in the Bluefield District except one. His religious library of rare historical tomes and the latest books is larger than that of most preachers in the state. For four years he was a member of the General Board of Evangelism in Nashville, Tenn.

              Born in Tazewell, Virginia, in 1903 he married Cynthia Mary Kennedy and they have four daughters. A gifted speaker and liberal contributor, Jonh Sanders is a leader in his home church, in his district and the annual conference. At present he is Associate Lay Leader of the annual conference.

    A rememberance of the McComas, WV religious community

    John Sanders was a prominent figure in the McComas religious community, He probably visited all these churches at one time during his years at McComas and/or had community related connections with them and their congregations. His home church was the Thomas Memorial Methodist Church which is pictured below .
    Thomas Memorial         New Morningstar Baptist         Prosperity Methodist         Pinnacle Methodist and Pentecostal Holiness         Repass Chapel, Pinnacle Hollow             Thomas Pennicostal Holiness       Crane Creek Methodist           Catholic Church         Crane Creek Pentecostal Holiness currently located in the old Pinnacle Elementary School Building

    located at McComas, West Virginia

    established in 1917

    < Thomas Memorial Church probably taken in 1960s or later timeframe

    Thomas Memorial Church taken in 2002 by Pat Smith - only a shell left of what once was a beautiful church
    New Morning Star Church, McComas, WV
    Early church erected in 1931 by the African American residents of the area and pastored by the Rev. W. A. Pittard for many years. This congregation moved to the Godfrey Church in Crystal when they left McComas. John Sanders would speak here and his daughter played piano for the congregation on every 5th Sunday. In June 2003 at the McComas High School reunion at the Holiday Inn in Bluefield I (Pat Smith) was talking with Kathleen Cole (widow of Richard Cole who was once the Superintendant at Crane Creek). She said, "I remember my husband donating materials through the coal company to help this church be built."

    Godfrey Church, Crystal, WV

    Catholic Church, McComas, WV

    it sat across the road from Thomas Memorial Methodist Church - the old McComas Movie Theatre sat to the left of this church. The church and theatre burned in 1948. The church was later rebuilt but not the theatre.
    photo taken in the 1960s and supplied by Amedeo (Tony) Basconi

    Prosperity Methodist Church, Windmill Gap/McComas, WV
    This church sits on the mountaintop above the Sagamore and Crane Creek areas of McComas at Windmill Gap. Ride the mountain roadway from Crane Creek until you arrive at the top of Windmill Gap (before going back down the mountain towards Cherokee/Crumpler) turn right (beside a small store) and continue on the secondary road a short distance to locate the church which sits on the right. It is still an active church.
    photo taken in the 2001 and supplied by Pat Smith

    Rare photo of the Crane Creek Church and school (only one I've received).

    Crane Creek Penecostal Holiness Church, Pinnacle/McComas, WV (this is the old (actually the 2nd) Pinnacle Elementary School building). The McComas Slate Dump and explosion disaster of the 1920s occurred on the mountain side/top on the left side of this photo. The remaining house across from the school my aunt Elsie "Huffman" Bailey lives in today and has been pictured in many of the 1920s photographs of that disaster. For any of you old-timers notice how much the trees have grown up around the hillsides that we remember as homes for hundreds and hundreds of residents of McComas! Its as if they never existed.

    These are currently the only photos I have of the McComas area churches if anyone has others I'd love to receive and share copies with my viewers (Pat Smith)

    Margaruette Sanders provided a 1955-56 Thomas Memorial Church Bulletin - click the button below to view it.