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History of the Organization of the Steer Run Missionary Baptist Church, Normantown, West Virginia

This history was written by church members to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the church's organization.

Following are some excerpts from the minutes of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church which help to piece together the almost forgotten history.

On January 25, 1890, we find article two of the minutes of this meeting thus recorded:

On motion by Bro. W. STALNAKER that we now appoint a committee of six to select meeting house site to build a church and to report at our next regular meeting.

Article three reads:

On motion by A.M. BENNETT that we rescind the second article of this meeting.

Feb. 22, 1890__ Article three reads:

On motion by Bro. W.W. STALNAKER that we receive the petition and Church house site as ours from the following brethren and friends which reads as follows:
To the Mt. Carmel Church, we the undersigned brethren and friends have a church house pattern now ready to build into a house and have also selected a site where we think is most convenient for the majority of the members of the Mt. Carmel Church. The lot or site selected is near the mouth of Steer Run on land owned by Daniel HUFFMAN and Carey MALLOHAN. Said Huffman and Mallohan agree to deed said lots to the Church free as long as used for that purpose. We now tender the lot with the pattern to the Church, the pattern to be built on the site selected. Feb. 19,1890.


Manderville BOGGS, J.S. BOGGS, J.T. McCLAIN,

Article four of this same date reads:

On motion by Bro. A. Vanhorn that we now proceed to appoint a building committee, namely: Wm. Bennett, E.J. James, R.T. Sumpter, S.J. Vanhorn, Carey Mallohan, J.J. KENNEDY, A.S. Stalnaker, M.B. Stump, A. Vanhorn.

On July 26, 1890, Article two of the minutes of that meeting reads:

On motion by Bro. W.W. Stalnakerthat we receive the deed as ours presented by Bro. Carey Mallohan and Bro. Daniel Huffman for the Church house site at the mouth of Steer Run.

Recorded May 23, 1891

At the regular business meeting Jan. 23, 1891, the Church was adjourned as follows: "On motion by Bro. M.W. Stalnaker we adjourn to our next regular meeting in course to meet at the new church house at the mouth of Steer Run."

The building was never completely finished. It was used by the Church from the spring of 1891 to the middle of 1895 when by order of the Church was moved to upper building (I assume this was the church up Steer Creek). This left at the mouth of Steer Run a group who felt the need for organizing a separate Independent Baptist Church. They, therefore, began to look to the only source of true guidance, an Almighty God. True, such leaders as Elder M.B. Stump, L.B. COTTRILL, S.J. Vanhorn, Elder E.J. James and others were looked to as God sent earthly leaders, but many were the prayers that was lifted up to God in behalf of the proposed organization.

By July the answer had been given. The following minutes were recorded:

Mouth of Steer Run, Gilmer Co., W.Va., July 24, 1895

On motion Aug. 21, 1895, as a time of permanent organization. On motion called a coucil from the following churches: Mt. Pisgah, Mt. Carmel, Cedar Creek, Bethlehem, Crooked Fork, Rush Run, Enon, Sycamore, Eliem, and Rosedale to consider the propriety of organizing a Baptist Church at the mouth of Steer Run.

As evident from the minutes, this group proposed no further meeting before the council met, but their needs grew and on Aug. 13, 1895, the assembly met again at the mouth of Steer Run and the following minutes recorded:

Temporary organization met at the mouth of Steer Run Aug. 13, 1895. Singing and prayer by Bro. S.J. Vanhorn.
  1. On motion Eld. E.J. James was made moderator, protem.
  2. On motion L.B. Cottrill was made clerk, protem.
  3. Read minutes of previous meeting and were approved.
  4. On motion received Articles of Faith as ours.
  5. On motion received Rules of Decorum as ours.
  6. On motion received Constitution as ours.
  7. On motion discharged the committee that was appointed to draft a Constitution, Rules of Decorum, and Articles of Faith.
  8. On motion proceeded to elect temporary Clerk. Choice: L.B. Cottrill.
  9. On motion adjourned to meet Wed. before the fourth Sunday at 10 o'clock.
Prayer by Bro. Frank Kennedy. Eld. E.J. James, Mod. protem L.B. Cottrill, Clerk protem

The Steer Run Church held its first regular business meeting Sept. 21, 1895. The Church chose its pastor, Eld. M.B. Stump; first Clerk, L.B. Cottrill, and first Deacon, R.L. Sumpter. Bro. Sumpter was ordained Oct. 31, 1895. The new church worshipped in the building belonging to Mt. Carmel for a period of 18 years. The Mt. Carmel Baptist Church Oct. 28, 1913, deeded to the Steer Run Church house and lot.

Before the year ended the building burned down. The Church was forced to move its place of worship temporarily to the Buckeye Schoolhouse. The new building was built and ready to use and be dedicated Nov. 25, 1915. As Charter members, three ordained ministers, namely: Eld. M.B. Stump, Eld. E.J. James, Eld. Walter REASER.

In 1902 Eld. C.L. JAMES was ordained. In 1909 Eld. Blaine STOUT. In 1921 Eld. L.R. STALNAKER. In 1936 Eld. Fell KENNEDY. In 1943 Eld. Herbert ALLTOP. In 1944 Eld. Harold ALLTOP. All were ordained Baptist ministers at Steer Run.

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