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Berkeley County church to mark 269 years

Journal photo by Samantha Cronk Falling Waters Presbyterian Church Interim Pastor Rose Wayland prepares for this Sunday’s special dedication service, recognizing the church’s 269-year history as part of the Presbyterian denomination’s Heritage Sunday.
Journal photo by Samantha Cronk
Falling Waters Presbyterian Church Interim Pastor Rose Wayland prepares for this Sunday’s special dedication service, recognizing the church’s 269-year history as part of the Presbyterian denomination’s Heritage Sunday.

FALLING WATERS, W.Va. – In a celebration of the past and anticipation for the future, the congregation of Falling Waters Presbyterian Church will recognize nearly 270 years of history and faith this Sunday.

With a blend of historical and modern facilities and worship service style, the church will host a dedication ceremony, honoring the journey it and its congregation have taken.

Falling Waters Presbyterian Church was established in 1745 as a log meeting house in Williamsport, Maryland. After the church burnt down, it relocated to its current site in Falling Waters in 1795. While the first church at the Falling Waters site also burnt down, the church’s current sanctuary has withstood throughout the years.

“In 1834, this present sanctuary was built, and as we see it today, it has not changed. We have the same pews, the same pulpit. The only things that has changed is the heating and we have electricity,” said Ron Hansen, member and church historian.

Standing for 180 years, the sanctuary has overseen changes to the church, such as the addition of an assembly hall, as well as cultural changes, as the balcony section was once reserved for slaves.

Photographs and documents collected throughout the years line the walls of the church, showcasing the its history, such as a picture of the original land deed. Falling Waters Presbyterian Church became a nationally registered historic site in 1976.

While proud of the church’s long legacy, Hanson said the church does not define itself by its history.

“We’re not stuck in the past with our history. We recognize it and we embrace it, but we’re a modern church. We have survived for 250 years for a reason…

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