The historic Forks-of-Cheat Baptist Church (1775) is located about six miles north of Morgantown, off U.S. 119 near the village of Stewartstown. Located very near the Pennsylvania line in the area between the Cheat and Monongahela rivers known as Forks of Cheat, it is the oldest church with continuous records west of the Alleghenies in the state.
The historic congregation was organized the night of Sunday, November 7, 1775, by Rev. John Corbly and 12 charter members. The small, hand-written, parchment minute book is the church’s oldest existing artifact. Other antiques include a silver communion pitcher, an hourglass, and two 1840 communion cups. Supposedly the hourglass was to time long-winded preachers.
Unique features of this small but still lively congregation include Homecoming Sundays each July, with the flying of the British flag to mark the church’s original Colonial status, the famous bear meat picnic, and the annual opening of the ‘‘whiskey tombstone,’’ a hollow grave marker once used to buy and sell spirits, unbeknownst to the church members at the time.
This Article was written by Joseph C. Gluck