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In 1965, fifteen people in the Belmont section of Montgomery County came together to start a new church. They were Mr. and Mrs. James Hunter McClung; Mr. and Mrs. Harley Carroll and their sons, Brian and Stanley; Mrs. Rosa Irwin and her two children; Mr. and Mrs. K. North and their two children. These people were led by the Rev. and Mrs. J. Burton Epperly. On September 28, 1965, the Board of Missions and Church Extension of the United Methodist Church purchased approximately five acres of land for less than $20,000 and by the middle of March 1966, a temporary building was started. After only nine days and several setbacks (one being the actual collapse of the building caused by the winter wind), a worship service was held. There were no padded pews…only apple crates…no new pulpit furniture…only borrowed items from other places…but as the congregation remarked, "it was our church." These humble beginnings were the start of what was later to develop into the now beautiful sanctuary of Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church of the Roanoke District, Virginia Conference.

In April 1967 ground was broken for the present church building which became a new station in the Belmont section of Montgomery County called Wesley Memorial UMC. At that time the church numbered about twenty-five members. This small gathering took upon themselves the task of the actual construction of a good portion of the present church structure thereby reducing the cost from the original quote of $90,000 down to the actual cost of $40,000. Today, the church structure is valued at approximately $450,000. Through years of hard work in growing and making sorghum molasses, making apple butter, having bake and craft sales, participating in Lord’s Acre sales, and committed, faithful giving, Wesley Memorial completed payments on its building note in November 1982. On March 20, 1983, with Bishop Robert M. Blackburn and the Reverend William J. Fink, District Superintendent of the Roanoke District, officiating, the church participated in a service of dedication and note burning.

Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church

Throughout the years, from the idea of forming a Church, the dedication of the congregation has been one which has carried them through 13 ministers and a number of positional changes to bring them to the present.

  1. In 1971, Wesley Memorial joined with Newport to form the Wesley-Newport charge.
  2. In 1977-1981, Wesley Memorial joined with Mt. Elbert to form a two point charge.
  3. In 1981, the Christiansburg Parish was formed and Wesley Memorial became one of the churches.
Through-out the years of growth, Wesley Memorial has been a part of the service provided by 15 ministers:
  • 1966-1968…..J. Burton Epperly
  • 1968-1969…..Jack L. South
  • 1969-1971…..Edward G. Stout
  • 1971-1974…..E. Lee Richardson
  • 1974-1977…..Jeffrey C. Pugh
  • 1977-1978…..Eugene Sowder
  • 1978-1981…..James L. Moran
  • 1981-1983…..Jeanne & William Finley
  • 1983-1990…..Mary Beth & Robert Blinn
  • 1990-1991…..Michael Desper
  • 1991-1993…..Raymond Kelley
  • 1993-2006…..William St. Clair
  • 2006-2011…..Tina Cox
  • 2011-2014…..Gustavo Segovia
  • 2014-present…..Charles W. DeHart
In 1992, the congregation of Wesley Memorial elected to seek it’s individuality through the request to the District Superintendent to be removed from a three point charge and placed in a single charge category with its own Pastor. This request was granted and in July of 1993, Wesley Memorial became an individual church and immediately began to set up classes and programs with an attitude of commitment and the character of caring and love. Through-out its history, and with such an attitude and character, there has been many disciples, both clergy and laity, who have made great strides in showing the surrounding community, and the world, that the goal of this community of faith is to share in the ministry of Jesus Christ through love and commitment to the One who made it all possible, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


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350 Stafford Drive, Christiansburg, VA 24073

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