The community of West Martinsburg was settled in 1804. The Methodist Society had formed in 1803. Population grew rapidly and the church was erected in 1840. Despite elimination of regular services in the 1940s, the church building has been maintained and used for special services. In 1977 the Society for the Preservation of the West Martinsburg Church formed. The goal of the group is to ensure restoration and preservation of this beautiful building. The church is listed on the State and National Registry of Historic Sites.
The church is a rare example of ventricular religious architecture and decorative arts of the 19th century. It is virtually intact with turn-of-the-century interior. Three ornate oil lamp chandeliers provide the only artificial light in the sanctuary. Heating relies on two cast iron wood stoves at the rear of the building. Suspended stove pipes run the entire length of the sanctuary. The is no electricity in the church. A pump organ remains in use.
The society depends on donations and two events a year to raise funds for maintenance and restoration. Each June they sponsor an ice cream social. The candlelight Christmas service is always the first Wednesday in December.
Anyone who has interest in the preservation of the church is encouraged to join. If there are questions about membership, donation or restoration projects, please call Marcia Waligory at 315-376-3401.