Pickens View Wesleyan Church celebrates 100 years

PICKENS — Pickens View Wesleyan Church is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Pickens View Wesleyan is located off Highway 8 at 744 Bethlehem Ridge Road just outside Pickens.

In 1912, The Rev. J. R. Davis organized the Pickens View Church with 14 members. A parcel of land was purchased from Mr. W. W. T. Nalley on February 1, 1913. The location was about two miles east of Pickens on the next hill over from town. The town of Pickens could be seen in the distance so the church was named “Pickens View.”

The January 30, 1913, edition of The Pickens Sentinel noted the following information, “The Wesleyans have bought the old M.E. (Methodist Episcopal) church house and are taking it down and will erect a Wesleyan Church on the Pickens and Easley road.” The men of the church drove horses and wagons to Pickens to pick up the lumber.

On December 1, 1919, Lucretia Gilstrap sold the church a parcel of land adjoining the property for $5. It was about an acre and was designated as a cemetery. The trustees at the time were Mr. Joab Gilstrap, The Rev. Levi Rigdon, and Mr. Joseph Wyant.

In 1936, the original building was replaced with a new building erected on the same site. The new building was dedicated on June 26, 1938. Rev. J.R. Green was the pastor.

From its beginning to 1960, the church had a total of 20 pastors. The Rev. John Youngblood served as pastor on three different occasions for a total of eleven years (1928-34, 1943-45, and 1956-60). Rev. Youngblood lived near the church and was a supporter of the church through the years.

The Rev. Earl J. Hucks brought the church to a new level of growth. He served from 1960 to 1972. Attendance reached 168. The church built a parsonage, two classroom buildings, and a fellowship building.

During the pastorate of Dr. Hal G. Robbins the church constructed a new sanctuary on the site of the previous sanctuary. In addition to the sanctuary, the building included classrooms, offices, balcony, and a baptistery.

When Pastor Foster Gentry became the pastor, the church indebtedness was about $100,000. With the liberal giving of the congregation, this indebtedness was liquidated in two years.

At that time, space for parking and additional buildings was limited. The church purchased seven acres of property adjoining the existing property, which cost about $300,000. Donations from the congregation and two estates covered the cost.

In 1994, the membership called The Rev. Lewis Edwards as full-time associate pastor and his wife, Nancy, as music director.

The congregation realized a need for a new building. In 2005 a building project began and was completed in 2006. The building was. named “Heritage Hall.” It provided a spacious dining area, kitchen and another room for smaller groups.
With the retirement of Pastor Gentry, Rev. Edwards was called to be the Senior Pastor. In 2007, the congregation paid off the indebtedness of the Heritage Hall.

In 2010, the church secured the William E. Allgood property adjacent to the church on Highway 8 after Mr. Allgood passed away. Because of Mr. Allgood’s generosity, the church only paid a small portion of the value of the three acres and two houses and several other buildings.

In the last 10 years church attendance reached an all-time high. During the year 2004 the attendance was 189. In the years 2007 and 2008 the attendance was 205.

Today the church is blessed with people of all ages with a strong emphasis on youth and children. With the aid and blessing of the Lord, the church anticipates continued outreach and ministry to the Pickens area.

Through the years, the church has been a blessing to many people in the Pickens area. “Praise God from whom all blessings flow” – Doxology.

The people at Pickens View are excited about sharing its rich history of evangelism and outreach with the community on Sunday, November 4, at 10 a.m. in the church sanctuary. This will be a great day of remembering. It will also be a great day of worship and honor to God, who has been so faithful through the years. Rev. Lewis B. Edwards and the people extend an invitation to the special service.