Church honored with historic plaque
Published 10:07 pm Tuesday, September 6, 2016
A historic church in downtown Suffolk is letting everybody know it is on the National Register of Historic Places.
A plaque was installed at Oxford United Methodist Church on Tuesday commemorating its historic designation.
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The church, founded in 1922, resides in the city’s historic West End.
“It’s an outstanding example of new Gothic Revival architecture,” said church member Katherine Hobbs. “It is one of the most beautiful buildings in Suffolk.”
Hobbs is the great-granddaughter of the West family, which was one of the church’s founders. Her great-grandfather, Joshua Cottingham West Jr., who served as the head of the church’s Sunday school, has a face mold plaque in the church’s foyer area. West’s wife’s name is etched in one of the church’s stained glass windows.
Due to her genealogical ties to the church, the plaque is especially significant to Hobbs.
“For my dad and me, it’s personal,” she said. “The designation of this plaque is to show the importance of the church. It’s a place that reminds us of where we are and where we come from.”
In recent years, the church’s congregation has been dwindling. Hobbs hopes the plaque will help instill a sense of pride in the current members and encourage them to remain with the historic church.