The Wyco Church

The Wyco Church

In 1917, Major W.T. Tams, coal-baron owner of the Wyco Coal Camp, built the Mount Grove Baptist Chuch in Wyco on a bluff overlooking Allen Creek. 80 years later, mine closings and migration left the Wyco Church abandoned and in need of major repairs. The interior leaked; the exterior frame stood through support of cribbing alone; the roof nearly fell through. For all these reasons, the Gothic revival church earned a place on the West Virginia Preservation Alliance’s Most Endangered Properties List in 2009. RAIL assumed ownership of the church and has brought college and university groups, volunteers from churches, and AmeriCorps NCCC teams to renovate the building. RAIL hopes to relaunch the restored church as a coal camp museum, a space for community events in Wyco, and a quiet place for meditation and reflection.

Wyco Church interior 2014.
F. BRIAN FERGUSON/THE REGISTER-HERALD=Volunteers Brantley Kirkland, left, and Robert McDaniel, right, do some repair work on the lights at the New Salem Baptist Church in Tames on Monday during the Martin Luther King Day of Volunteering in the Southern Coalfields.
AmeriCorps NCCC team River Six focused on the interior of the Wyco Church.