WEPC - West End Presbyterian Church - Hopewell, VA (PCA)

History of West End Church

In November 1921 a business man, Edward L. Dupuy, gave up his business in Blackstone Virginia and came to Hopewell.  He and his family settled in the most neglected section of the then "ex-boom" town; rented an old store building and started a Sunday School.  The attendance the first Sunday, November 15, 1941, was six.  The Sunday School grew rapidly.  Mrs. Dupuy conducted a week-day school.  The store building was purchased and remodeled.  Three years later, in January, 1924, a Church was organized.  Mr. Dupuy was ordained and installed as pastor.  He and Mrs. Dupuy labored here for eight years in love, faith, and prayer.  God used them to lay the foundation for a great work, and today their Christian influence may be seen in the lives of many people in Hopewell.

 

1921

An old store building rented, then purchased, then remodeled again to accommodate increasing crowds.

 

In June, 1929, William E. Hill, Jr., a young student at Union Theological Seminary, was sent to serve as supply pastor.  With him came a new supply of faith and energy.  On September 9, 1931, he married Victoria Cromartie.  Mr. Hill supplied until May 1932; then he was ordained and installed as full-time pastor.

The Sunday School continued to grow.  A new Sunday School building was erected, later the church was enlarged, then a second story on the Sunday School building.  This work was done during a major depression. In those days of rapid growth, the Woman's Auxiliary flourished, a Young People's Organization was formed, a coordinated morning service was started, and the evening services were evangelistic.  Thus many new members were brought into the church.

 

1933

Sunday School building added in rear, then a "hump" added on the side of the church, then a second story on S. S. building.

 

By 1938, the people of West End began to realize the need for a new church.  The old one was falling into decay.  An intensive tithing program was started.  This program was a test to see if the church was ready, spiritually and financially, to attempt such a tremendous undertaking as the building of a new church.  They passed the test.  In December 1940, the building was dedicated.  All of the work was completed early in 1941.

 

 1941

 New church built beside the old S. S. building. Veneered and re- modeled Recreation building erect- ed by Young People in 1942.

 

Even before the new church was built, it was reaching out beyond the limits of its own community.  A Sunday School was organized in West Hopewell in 1935, and another in Rivermont in 1937.  They have since become organized, self-supporting churches.  the two chapels, Sandy Ridge and Bethel were started in Prince George County, and later combined to form River's Edge Church.

The Fall of 1948 began a new venture of faith - a Kindergarten was opened.  in 1950, the East wing was added to the church.  in 1951 West End Christian Grade School opened and was gradually expanded and now include all twelve grades.

 

1950

 New education wing added for S. S. and Christian Grade School. A separate school building will be needed soon, for growing school.

 

After Mr. Hill's resignation in 1958, the Rev. Donald B. Patterson was called to be Pastor and the church continued its ministry and growth in the community.  In 1962, Mr. Patterson resigned to accept a call to the McIllwain Presbyterian Church in Pensacola, Florida and Rev. Kennedy Smartt was called.  By 1964 the congregation had decided to remodel and add a new wing on the West side of the building.  In the process of tearing down the old, fire broke out in the attic of the building May 5, 1964.  After the fire, construction proceeded on the new wing while plans were quickly drawn for a new church.  During the time West End had no church, meetings were held in the Dupont Elementary School building.  The new church was completed in August 1965.

The Rev. Kennedy Smartt left West End in 1977.  The Church continued in an Evangelistic and Missions emphasis under the ministry of Rev. Sam Cappel who served as pastor 1977 to 1983, and the Rev. E. Lee Trinkle, III 1984 to 1986.  Dr. Robert Wilson accepted the call to West End June 15, 1988.

In addition to being the mother of three other churches, a number of her sons have gone into the ministry and some of her sons and daughters have gone into missionary service.  The real secret of the vitality of West End's life through the years has been the emphasis upon evangelism and missions.  Many public crusades and home visitations were conducted through the years.  In the early days these crusades were held in tents and through the years some of America's best known and loved evangelists have ministered in these services.