Forrest Burdette Memorial United Methodist Church is located along Putnam Avenue in Hurricane, West Virginia. The church was founded in 1915 under the leadership of its namesake Forrest Burdette. In May 2015 the church celebrated its 100th anniversary. Throughout those years the church has served and continues to serve its growing congregation and community through different programs and services such as a community garden and children's ministries.
In 1890 the Methodist Society was organized in the home of
one of the local members in Hurricane, WV.
It was the first organization of its kind in the community. Until the
new Methodist congregation could find a more permanent location, they were able
to share a building with another local congregation from the Hurricane Baptist
Church. A generous donation of land by
Thomas Harbour and his wife, Vaturia, in 1899, allowed the congregation to
begin the development of their own church building. In 1915, the original church was built, with
the Harbour’s grandson, Forrest Burdette, leading the congregation as the first
Sunday School Superintendent. The church
was named as the Hurricane Methodist Episcopal Church. Burdette was a faithful and dedicated leader,
not only through his church duties, but also by being deeply involved with and
caring for the community. On November
10, 1918, the Hurricane Methodist Episcopal Church was rededicated to the
memory of Forrest Burdette after he had joined the military to serve in World
War I, and passed away after contracting influenza. Since then the church has been known as,
Forrest Burdette Memorial United Methodist Church.
Throughout the years as the
community of Hurricane continued and continues to grow as does the Forrest
Burdette Memorial United Methodist Church.
Along with the original church, there have been several additions of
fellowship facilities, classrooms, and even new sanctuaries. The church invested in surrounding land from
the 1930’s to the 1960’s to expand and create study rooms, spaces for a choir,
a new parsonage, and the addition of more parking space for cars, as the
congregation grew. In 1973 the first
sanctuary was replaced with a larger one with stain glassed windows that faces
the road running along the front of the church building. At that same time a room for children, work
rooms, an entrance hall, bathrooms, and a basement with a kitchen were added
based of the needs of the church.
Another new sanctuary was added and renovations were done, resulting in
the church building that is still used today.
For over 100 years the Forrest
Burdette Memorial United Methodist Church has expanded and grown their congregation. Following the example of their namesake,
Forrest Burdette, the church and congregation continues to not only be involved
with their own church but also with the community through different programs
and curriculums. Some programs include
the Community Cupboard Pantry and Children’s Outreach Ministries that serve the
community through daycare, latch-key, and summer programs for the children in
the area. To supply the Community Cupboard
Pantry with vegetables throughout the year, the church cares for a community
garden. Local groups and organizations
such as Boy and Girls Scouts, the Hurricane Civic Chorus, AA groups, Quilter’s
groups, Putnam County Wyldlife as well as many others regularly share and use the church facilities.
In 2015 the church celebrated its 100th anniversary, still operating
under their motto “Blessed to be a Blessing”.
Forrest Burdette is still continuing to grow today. They just finished building a Gymnasium and a new daycare facility which is called the Family Life Center, in December of 2017. The church is dedicated to the outreach of students in the area. They use the new facilities for not only their own student outreach programs, but also donate their new facilities to other outreach programs such as, Young Life, and Wyldlife, and other outreach programs. Young Life and Wyldlife are non-profit ministries for middle school and high school students in the area. Forrest burette is also still today building on to the lobby and office area on the front of the church. The cost of the new family life center was about $3.4 Million.