DOTHAN, WV (WOAY) – The community of Dothan in Fayette County is home to one of the oldest churches in the area. The Dothan Community Church was founded 150 years ago and they are celebrating their anniversary this weekend.
Darrell Fuller has been the pastor since 1989. According to him, the church has been the home of many people and many stories throughout the years.
“There’s a lot of history here,” Fuller said. A lot of people love the church. A lot of people have been saved, married, there have been funerals. It’s all part of the history and it’s touched a lot of lives.”
Almost everything about the church is still the same as it was 150 years ago. Nowadays, the church doesn’t see too many patrons; usually less than ten people come to the services. But the church has seen recent success by streaming its services online.
Fuller says the church’s birthday is this Sunday, down to the exact date. During the past 150 years, the church has never closed and has always had a community behind it.
“It was founded in 1871. A gentleman by the name of Albert Toney donated the land. And it has continued since 1871, it’s never been closed. And to my knowledge, there’s never been a different group. It’s always been passed on from one generation to the next.”
Originally, it was a union church and saw many different people from all walks of life attend. Over the years, those denominations split up and fewer people came by.
Although not too many people visit the church these days, it’s seen many people come through its doors. And it’s touched the lives of thousands of people throughout its long history, including one man who came from out of state to visit the church he went to as a child.
“Several years ago there was a gentleman who was 92 years old. He had visited the church from out of state. We were about to begin service and I always ring the bell, and he came up and asked very sweetly, “May I ring the bell? I used to ring it when I was a little boy.” And he was 92, so it gives you a perspective of the legacy of the church.”
The Dothan Community Church is planning a celebration this Sunday for the anniversary. They’ll have guest singers and are hoping to create some more memories that will last a lifetime.