The hidden church, deep in a West Virginia forest…


It’s one of the smallest churches in West Virginia and it’s got outdoor plumbing. Perfect.

My friends and I go hiking, riding, running, driving and boating all across the state. When we ran in to this little gem, we couldn’t help but stop and explore.

It’s called the Arnet Methodist Church and it’s hidden DEEP in the forest. During the winter, you have to ride a four wheeler to make it in and back out of the frozen territory of Nicholas County. It’s along Tipton Road (dirt) and sits on the edge of the Gauley River National Recreation Area.  In fact, you can hear the roar of the Gaul which is less than 100 yards from the front steps of the church.

It was built in 1903 and has been home to many services, weddings, baptisms and funerals. The white church is simple with plain windows and an outhouse that sits on the northeast side. Also on site, is a small cemetery. One of the people be buried there was George H. Griffin. He was a Private in the Army and served in World War I. When he died, he was 30 days from his 100th birthday, back in 1995 on the 1st of October.

It’s not the absolute smallest church in West Virginia, but I’ll call it the 2nd smallest and it’s so beautiful in that snowy setting.  The smallest is Our Lady of the Pines Catholic Church in Silver Lake with 12 one person pews.

The pews are all gone, the people have long moved to other churches and the cemetery rarely has a fresh bouquet of flowers. But it’s a stopping point. It’s about 5 miles from Drennan down country roads and about 10 miles from Summersville Dam. 

I’ve seen so many things in my life as I’ve traveled the country but this spot is unique. Maybe it’s the fresh snow, the white boards and the quiet setting in Nicholas County. The peace that you feel when you stop here makes you realize your one step closer to something…something more powerful than you.

You can follow Bryan Hughes on Twitter and Facebook!
Twitter: @bryanweather

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