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Walking Tour of Spencer West Virginia
Item 4 of 4

Founded in 1874, with the aid of a visiting preacher, the Spencer Presbyterian Church also called the Market Street Church, is unique in Spencer for its Gothic Architecture. Their original building was replaced in 1903, though who designed the current building has been forgotten. Closing in 1930 the Spencer Presbyterian Church was finally reopened in 1952 where it became part of the South Presbyterian branch in 1954. Following a cave-in 1975, the church closed once again, this time permanently, as the congregations created a new church outside of Spencer. Then the building served as a preschool for 13 years and finally was abandoned again during the 1990’s, currently, it is being restored by its new owners. The National Park Service placed the Spencer Church on the National Register of Historic Places or it “Late Victorian Gothic architecture” in 2016.


  • Exterior, facing northwest
  • Original Stained Glass Windows
  • Front entrance
  • Exterior, facing northeast
  • Interior

The church was founded through the work of several Spencer families the “Adams, Baileys, Gibsons, Smiths, Stones, and Walkers” in 1874 with the aid of a visiting preacher. Creating a church where the local Presbyterians could worship, construction the white frame building that stands today. In 1874 the deed to the property was given to the five members of the Church's Board of Trustees. These men were, “Mr. H.F. Gibson, Dr. John B. Thompson, Dr. A.G. Bailey, Mr. A.B. Wells, and Mr. Clay Smith,” before expanding to include “Mr. J.B. Casto, Mr. A.S. Heck, and Mr. G.P. Stone” in 1901. The National Park Service also place one of these men's, Albert S. Heck, home in Spencer on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999. 

The first worship in this new church was on November 29, 1903, once construction was completed. From 1874 to 1930 the church was part of the Northern Presbyterian branch, the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America. In 1930 the church closed and was not reopened until 1952, this time becoming part of the Southern branch of the Presbyterian church in 1954. A cave-in during 1971 caused the congregation to create a new church outside of Spencer, ending the buildings use as a church.

Located on 408 Market Street in Spencer, West Virginia on a quarter acre property the Spencer Church has been in use since 1903. Who designed the church has been forgotten, but they created a unique building in Spencer through it Gothic architecture constructed with brick rather than wood. A combination of Victorian and Gothic construction was used during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, because of the belief that it was the proper way to create a church. After reopening the church was expanded to serve as a preschool until 1971 when a cave-in caused the building to close again. While the congregation built a new church in 1975 on County Route 14 North, their original church functioned for 13 years as a preschool. The building was abandoned in the 1990’s and scheduled for demolition when it was purchased by a new owner who has plans to restore the building for use as a multi-purpose facility.

“Spencer Presbyterian Church” National Register of Historic Places, accessed July 25, 2018, http://www.wvculture.org/shpo/nr/pdf/roane/16000315.pdf

"History of the Spencer Presbyterian Church" Spencer Presbyterian Church, accessed August 3, 2018, https://spencerpresbyterian.weebly.com/history.html

Image Sources(Click to expand)

, "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form - Spencer Presbyterian Church." Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.nps.gov/nr/feature/places/pdfs/16000315.pdf.

, "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form - Spencer Presbyterian Church." Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.nps.gov/nr/feature/places/pdfs/16000315.pdf.

, "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form - Spencer Presbyterian Church." Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.nps.gov/nr/feature/places/pdfs/16000315.pdf.

, "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form - Spencer Presbyterian Church." Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.nps.gov/nr/feature/places/pdfs/16000315.pdf.

, "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form - Spencer Presbyterian Church." Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.nps.gov/nr/feature/places/pdfs/16000315.pdf.