Called to make Disciples for Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World

Annual Conference and District News

Uniting the United Methodist Churches in Northern Garrett County for Ministry

Church Service List
Parish Activities
Friendsville Charge
Grantsville Charge
Hoyes - McHenry Charge
Northeast  Garrett Charge
Paradise Church
Annuel Conference and District News
Related Links

Mission Projects
Seven Mission Projects affiliated with the West Virginia Conference are one way we show the love of Christ in our communities. Emergency food and utility assistance, housing rehabilitation projects, thrift stores, and newborn layettes are a few examples of what these ministries do. Please explore the Projects on this page, and consider a partnership ministry with the one closest to your church!
Community Development Outreach Ministries (CDOM) - Charleston
Ebenezer Community Outreach Center - Huntington
Heart & Hand House - Philippi
House of the Carpenter - Wheeling
Scott’s Run Settlement House - Osage
Tyrand Cooperative Ministries - Mill Creek
Upshur Parish House - Buckhannon

Don't forget Living Hope High School!  More information can be found under District News (To the left)

Information of events and activities of this years  Annual Conference can be found by going to:
The West Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church tries to live up to the ministry challenge presented by our founder, John Wesley.

Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball
Resident Bishop of the West Virginia Annual Conference

Share Your Glory Sightings

If you have photos from your church and community that you'd be willing to share please email them to or contact Deborah Coble at

If you have any questions about how to share a post or video on Social Media don't hesitate to contact us at!

Be sure to follow us on Facebook: West Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church (@wvumc) for updates throughout the week.  Our bi-weekly enews will also offer updates on resources available through the conference as well as the United Methodist Church.

In Christ, together,

Your WVUMC Conference Communications team

About Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball

Sandra L. Steiner Ball, the daughter of Edward J. and the late Marjorie W. Steiner, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts and raised in Milford, Delaware.  She is a graduate of Dickinson College, (B.A. in Religion, 1984), Duke Divinity School (M.Div., 1987), and Wesley Theological Seminary (D.Min., 2003).

Sandra was ordained Deacon and Elder by Bishop Joseph H. Yeakel in the Peninsula-Delaware Conference.  She has served as an associate pastor, lead pastor, District Superintendent, and Director of Connectional Ministries(DCM). During her last year as a DCM, she also served as interim pastor of Bayside Chapel, a new church start.  Sandra was in this position when elected to the episcopacy by the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference in 2012 and was assigned to the West Virginia Area.

Bishop Steiner Ball was a first elected delegate to the 2008 and 2012 General Conferences of The United Methodist Church and to the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conferences (NEJ).  Prior to election, Sandra served the general church in a variety of areas, including the Interjurisdictional Episcopacy Committee, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, the United Methodist Endorsing Agency, and the Jurisdictional Committee on Episcopacy.

For the 2016 – 2020 quadrennium, Bishop Steiner Ball was re-assigned as the episcopal leader of the West Virginia area and has responsibilities with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry serving on the agency’s Executive/personnel and Policies Committee, Global Education and Ministry Committee, Audit and Review Subcommittee, and is the chairperson of the Division on Ministry. Additionally, Bishop Steiner Ball is one of three moderators on the Commission on the Way Forward, and chairs the annual U. S. DS/DCM training. In the NEJ, Bishop Steiner Ball continues until September 2017 as President of the College of Bishops and chairs the NEJ Vision Table.  She is Vice Chairperson of the West Virginia Council of Churches and Co-chairs a task force of the Council working to address substance abuse and addiction in the West Virginia area.

Bishop Steiner Ball and her husband, The Rev. Barry D. Steiner Ball, have two daughters:  Sarah Elizabeth and Sandra Rebekah.


900 Washington Street E, Charleston, WV 25301

Phone: (304) 344-8330
Fax: (304) 344-8330
Living Hope High School

Each year Living Hope High School will graduate some 24 students with high grades and good morals. Each student has a business plan for their future that includes goals, career training, trade school, professional training, or university. The plan is re-evaluated annually to see if the goals have changed, if they are realistic, and what progress the student has made toward his/her goals. 

Living Hope High School is acquiring land, constructing school buildings, hiring professional degree teachers, improving the library, accepting quality students, and participating in national and international programs: Twice per year, a video of the school's progress is made and taken to the United States to update the current sponsors and to encourage new sponsors.

You can see more at:

A VIM Mission to Living Hope High School took place this past January and work team is being organized again for this coming year, 2018. A newsletter and information about Living Hope High School by Helen Markwell is on the District Web Page. You can also find the current Newsletter and other information concerning Living Hope High School on the District Website

This could be an advance special outreach for your church.

Living Hope High School Advance #3021425

The West Virginia Volunteers in Mission has a website:

This web site is an increasingly popular way for people to learn about work teams and to sign up to be part of a team-please 
check it out!

Conference Youth Ministry

CCYM (Conference Council on Youth Ministry)

This is a dedicated team comprised of youth and adults from across the conference. They are the brain power behind all youth events and programs offered by the conference. They gather to pray, plan, and pretend to pay attention during meetings. If you are interested in joining this amazing team of committed people contact Lauren Shanholtzer, CCYM President at Applications for 2017-2018 CCYM will be accepted until July 1st. 


Is a Confirming Your Faith resource that can be used with youth who are of middle school or junior high age as a means of helping them prepare to make a profession of faith before the rest of the church. This confirmation material is available through the conference free of charge
Any youth attending a Conference Youth Event all four of their High School years can receive a Scholarship to attend West Verginia Wesleyan College.
Some very interestion things to look at, read and share with others about the WVUMC

For Conference Pastors

You're invited to participate in United Methodist-specific online courses, designed to better equip you and your ministry. 

Go to Find Courses on  Conference web page.
Young People
Welcome, young people of the West Virginia Conference! 

The WVUMC is a great place for faith formation no matter your age! We offer many opportunities for you to be the church and grow in your relationship with Christ. The Conference offers summer camps, Rally on the Mountain, and Fall Workshop for 12 to 18 year olds. High School students have additional opportunities through the Radical Discipleship Academy of Appalachia and the Northeast Jurisdiction’s annual Mission of Peace pilgrimages. College students can participate in campus ministries at Concord University, Fairmont State University, Glenville State College, Marshall University, Potomac Sate College, University of Charleston, West Liberty University, West Virginia University, and West Virginia Wesleyan College. If you’re going out of state to school, contact the office to find out more about United Methodist campus ministries throughout the United States!

 Feel free to contact me with any questions that you may have.
 Blessings - Amy
 Amy Shanholtzer
Director of Evangelism and Congregational Development
West Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church
PO Box 2313, Charleston, WV 25328
1.800.788.3746 x. 26

Spring Heights is the camping and outdoor facility of the West Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Our beautiful 950 acres of rolling hills are located just north of Spencer in Roane County.

For more information on Spring Heights camps, ministries, and workshops visit here.

Enews Glory Sighting 
In the midst of what humanity can accomplish, the light of God is eternal.
Glory Sightings in the Annual Conference
You've read about glory sightings in the West Virginia Annual Conference for about two years now. Several churches and ministries have shared how the glory of God is shown in the work of ministry in action. Thank you!

The response to Glory Sightings has been so great that we are taking the idea a step further with this question:

How do you see God's glory in your personal walk as a disciple of Jesus Christ? Is there an image of a ministry, moment in nature or something else that shows God's glory to you?
Your Personal Photo
We want to invite you to personally reflect on how your photo shows the Glory of God. This may be a sentence, a few paragraphs, a poem, or even an essay.

You can attach your photos and text in an email to Please provide your name and the name of your church. It's also helpful to put "Glory Sighting" in the subject line of your email.

The communications team will be collecting these Glory Sightings - and they may be shown during the Annual Conference. They will also be shared throughout the year through the Enews, as well as conference social media (Facebook, Twitter) and in print.

Celebration of Mission Events

For information you can go to:
Our mission is to provide settings in which the development of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ can take place through people, program, community and environment to the end that all persons may grow in their understanding of God.
Potomac Highlands District  News

District Office
Potomac Highlands Missions Focus for 2017 Celebration of Mission Event

The District-wide 2017 C.O.M.E. took place during District Conference May 7, 2017, at 3 PM at the BUMFS gym.  Upon making a payment to C.O.M.E., please remember to make checks payable to the Conference Treasurer and remit on regular remittance form to the Conference Treasurer's office in Charleston, and on memo line put your Church # and C.O.M.E. #875 - if you want your church to get credit, the check must be on a church check, signed by the local church treasurer.

        Volunteers in Mission (VIM): training and mobilizing volunteers for short term mission trips to such places as South Carolina for flood relief, Kenya to Living Hope High School, Alaska to work with native peoples and churches, Russian orphanages, and WV.

For more information contact District Coordinators,

Nathan and Beth Epling (304-629-4728 or

or the District office (304-822-4191,
Stop Hunger Now
On Sunday, March 5th the youth from the Potomac Highlands District met at Keyser High School, 1 Tornado Way, in Keyser, WV at 4:00. p.m. They packed over 20,000 meals at that time.  This was a major District Youth mission outreach  project.  All middle and senior high youth that helped are to be commended for their fine work and participation.

“I Repent

"No One Can Oppose You"

Job said:
No one can oppose you,
because you have the power
to do what you want.

You asked why I talk so much
when I know so little.
I have talked about things
that are far beyond
my understanding.

You told me to listen
and answer your questions.
I heard about you from others;
now I have seen you
with my own eyes.

That's why I hate myself
and sit here in dust and ashes
to show my sorrow.
Job 42:1-6 CEV

A Message and Update from the District Superintendent

When I arrived at the New Vision Depot near Beckley, WV, I was thankful for the group of folks there, including my friend and fellow superintendent, Joe Kenaston. They had been working hard since the massive flooding hit West Virginia two days earlier.  There were hundreds of health kits, flood buckets, and tools ready to be sent to families who were mucking out their homes.  There were many United Methodist folks sorting, packing, unloading, and loading.  Not only was the church at work there, but I learned that our college chaplains and other Emergency Response trained pastors were out with work teams doing pastoral care that day.

My son and I followed a truck and trailer loaded with flood buckets from Beckley to White Sulphur Springs.  The truck was driven by Dan and Sandra – I had helped them come to faith in Christ when I served a previous church.  Boy, that was a surprise and great blessing to see.

Emmanuel UMC, in White Sulphur Springs, had already become a very active supply, food, and assistance center for the area.  FEMA was there. Politicians were helping.  TV crews were interviewing.  Families came and went with supplies.  I, Melissa Shortridge (Greenbrier District superintendent) and a bunch of other folks (including a man whose sister-in-law died in the flooding) unloaded a huge trailer full of needed recovery supplies from United Methodist churches in Tennessee. We had to do it by hand.  It took a dozen of us (a couple of really strong college football players among us) about three hours to do it, but we were energized by the needs of people just down the street.

A woman in the crowd grabbed me by the arm and said, “Mike Estep, is that you?”  She spoke slowly, I could tell she was exhausted.  I recognized her as someone I knew when I pastored in the area.  “How are you?”, I asked.  “We are surviving.  We are alive.  We lost it all, but we’re blessed to be alive.”  She and her husband went inside Emmanuel to rest and get what they needed.  I was so thankful that we, the United Methodists, were able to help her and so many more.  I’m thankful that we’ll be helping for weeks and months to come.

Now there are behind the scenes factors at work making this kind of ministry possible.  Specifically, before the flood happened local churches had paid their apportionments.  This fair share giving by local churches supported specific line items in the Annual Conference ministry budget that allowed us to respond quickly to this disaster.  For example:

  •   District Superintendent support line item – superintendents on the scene and helping to coordinate efforts,
  •   Connectional Ministries line item – that helped provide hands-on leadership and resources on the ground from Conference staff; they immediately communicated the scope of the disaster and effectively communicated the immediate and long-term needs in affected areas,
  •   Board of Global Ministries line item – that provided direction and funding for our New Vision Depot, our Disaster Response Coordinators, and disaster response training for clergy and laity that have been deployed as chaplains; Volunteers in Mission coordination that has/is/will coordinate the deployment of volunteer work teams,
  •  General Church Apportionment line item – that provided organization, training, and funding prior to the disaster; that created the connectional structure which has allowed resources and supplies to be brought to the area from other Conferences,
  •   Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry line item – that provides for the ministry of our college/university pastors and chaplains who were deployed to the area hours after the disaster.

Right now most of the congregations in the Potomac Highlands District are on schedule with their apportionment payments (on schedule would be payment of 50% of the 2016 Fair Share Apportionment) and some are ahead of schedule!  THANK YOU!  However, through June, nine of our 152 churches have not made an apportionment payment and another 25 congregations are significantly off schedule.  Through June, Potomac Highlands Churches are $69,109.93 behind schedule on our apportionments.

I am confident the pastors, leaders, and congregations rejoice that we are able to be involved in such significant ministry and to partner with other church, state, and community organizations in bearing the burdens of those hit by disaster.  I praise God that we can not only offer a flood bucket or meal, but we bring people together to worship amidst the ruins, we offer listening ears and prayers while standing in the mud, we help people connect with the hope of the Holy Spirit.

Pastor’s – please don’t let any of your churches not participate in this ministry.  If you need to personally designate a part of your offerings to apportionments to lift up their significance I would urge you to do so.

Leaders – be informed, not misinformed, about what your apportionments do.  If you do not like something, if you want something changed, work with your pastor and delegate to Annual Conference to bring a recommendation for change.

Churches – be cheerful givers (2 Corinthians 9:7).  If you can give beyond your apportionment do so; 100% of offerings sent to the Conference treasurer for “#935 Flood Relief” will be used for relief and recovery. 

Thank you for helping others, in the name of Christ, to bear their burden.

Grace and peace,

Mike Estep

This message from our District Superitendant gives you a feeling and idea of what it is like to respond to a disaster through volunteering your time and tallent in helping people to recover from a disaster. I share this because there are many ways that we can help respond to the many disasters that have struck our country this Summer. watch for up coming events that our district and parish will be involved in during the coming months

One such way to respond is VIM

Volunteers in Mission is a grassroots movement within The United Methodist Church that provides a way for lay and clergy Christians to use their skills and talents in service at home and around the world on short term mission assignments. To learn more click here


Conference Disaster Response Leaders

Rev. Dan Lowther: 304-642-0897

Rev. Sue Lowther: 304-642-0896

 Volunteers in Mission Coordinator:

Rev. David Stilgenbauer: 304-210-6938

district logo

The Radical Discipleship Academy of Appalachia

The Radical Discipleship Academy of Appalachia (RDAA) is a 12-month process for youth who want to grow in faith, be connected with others who feel the same, and want it to mean something in their day to day lives. RDAA strives to develop and empower youth to more fully engage and lead in their local church.

RDAA is preparing to enter its third year of existence. We are in the midst of a successful second year, in which several high school youth from around the West Virginia Annual Conference have participated in a week-long intensive at Spring Heights and continue to meet regionally in monthly covenant groups.

Now is the time for high school youth to begin applying for the 2017-2018 Academy. If there are youth in your local church who are currently in the 8th-11th grades who you see desiring to grow in their relationship with Christ, then RDAA may be a great opportunity for them. You will find more information and application for the 2017-2018 Academy by going to: 

If you have questions or would like to know more, please contact the registrar, Rev. Cindy Briggs-Biondi at or by calling her at 304.989.2749.

district logo
The West Virginia Volunteers in Mission has a website: 

This web site is an increasingly popular way for people to learn about work teams and to sign up to be part of a team-please 
check it out!

district logo

The Upshur Cooperative Parish House/Crosslines, Inc, is a mission project powered by prayer and volunteers. Growing out of the need from the 1985 flood we offer medical needs assistance, clothing assistance, rent, utilities, transportation vouchers, layettes. We serve community meals twice a week that are free and open to everyone. We operate the Clothes Closet, a store offering gently used clothing and household items. In the summer we operate a home repair program for families in Upshur County. We operate two community gardens that provide fresh produce for our families and provide new fresh produce for our onsite meals. We are a busy place filled with love and laughter and always looking for ways to meet the needs of God’s children.
General Needs: Work teams, volunteers, groups to cook and provide community meals
Layettes: Sleepers, diapers, diaper bags, receiving blankets, sweater sets, hats, hooded bath wipes, powder, baby oil, bottles and nipples
Kid’s stuff: Baby car seats and beds
Personal Care and Household Items: Personal Hygiene supplies, cleaning supplies, food and school supplies

Alicia Rapking, Executive Director
65 Meade Street
Buckhannon, WV 26201
304-473-8490 -

Celebration of Mission Event


Monetary Donations:  Make checks payable to your local church, designated to C.O.M.E.  Treasurers, send a church check to the WV Conference Treasurer with your church name, church#. Include C.O.M.E. on the memo line with the designated project number; #892 for Volunteers in Mission, #889 for Upshur Parish House, #875 for undesignated.


A Fresh Expressions Vision Day
Winchester, Virginia
Changing Church for a Changing World:

 What is Fresh Expressions?

Fresh Expressions is a movement that is cultivating new forms of church alongside existing congregations in order to reach a changing world. Begun in England 10 years ago, it has resulted in the birth of over 2,500 new communities in the UK alone. Fresh Expressions has spread to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and is also taking shape in the US.

At its heart, Fresh Expressions is about empowering and equipping God’s people to develop creative expressions of church that can reach the increasing diversity of our society.

 What is Vision Day?
Vision Day is a great way to discover more about Fresh Expressions.
In an interactive format, you will have the chance to:

- Hear how Fresh Expressions is renewing the church
- Talk about the development of Fresh Expressions US
- Learn more about the Mission-Shaped Church
- Discover tools to start Fresh Expressions in your area

  Contact the District office for more information.

District United Methodist Women

Thee United Methodist Women's Newsletter published by Lucinda J. Davis, Communications Coordinator is now available. You can also find the UMW Newsletter on the district website at - Home - UMW. You can also find the updated newsletter on the UMW District Website at:  If you have any questionsconcerning the UMW  Newsletter,  please contact Lucinda J. Davis.

The Virginia Higgins Grant

Virginia Higgins grant funds are designed to encourage United Methodist involvement in Health and Welfare Ministries, especially in the areas of child care, aging, health care, and people with handicapping conditions. Grants are also awarded to organizations, institutions, and programs related to the West Virginia Conference and other units of the general United Methodist Church through residential or non-residential ministries, including, but not limited to, domestic violence, health care and homelessness. For more information download the grant guidelines and application. Applications are due annually by April 15.
Chick here for application

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R. Samuel Wachter.

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