Standing majestically along the hillside overlooking the historic town of Harpers Ferry and the picturesque Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, Camp Hill-Wesley United Methodist Church has long been a spiritual beacon to nearby residents and visitors alike. The church literally arose from the ashes of the Civil War.
During the Civil War, the "Blue Church", as it was called, was located on Church Street in the lower town near St. Peter's Catholic Church. It was severly damaged by Union soldiers in 1862-1863 and could never be used again for services.
In 1867 the War Department awarded the Methodist Protestants $2,000.00 and bricks from the destroyed Armory buildings with which to build a new church. After numerous funding and construction delays, the church on Camp Hill was finally completed in 1869. Church member Durrett Coates was killed during the razing of an armory wall at the ruins of the Hall's Rifle Works on Virginius Island. He and others were scavenging bricks for the new construction.
The parsonage building, located next to the new church, was originally an Armory dwelling. It was purchased from the Armory in 1858. This building was torn down and a new one built on the same site in 1911. It has since been remodeled in 1981.
The sanctuary and new fellowship hall were dedicated in 1948. The benefactors for these additions were Mr. and Mrs. Charles T. Smith of Charles Town.
In 1968 Camp Hill Methodist Protestant Church became Camp Hill United Methodist Church.
In 1977 Camp Hill United Methodist Church merged with John Wesley Church and became Camp Hill-Wesley United Methodist Church.
OUR PASTOR - Luther Osment
Our pastor is in his 60th year of ministry. Luther Osment began speaking in churches at age 16 growing up in central Texas. He then spent nine years in college and seminary study. Upon completion of seminary he and wife Barbara moved from Texas to Asheville, North Carolina to serve a church in Asheville. For the next forty-eight years they raised their five children as Luther pastored churches and held state-wide denominational positions across North Carolina.
In 2008 they "retired" and moved to Harpers Ferry. WV where Luther now serves Camp Hill-Wesley UMC and Engle UMC. Luther says, "I have completely flunked retirement, but never in our lives have Barbara and I found more joy in our Christian service than we are finding right now."
OUR MUSIC MINISTRY
"The Angel Band"
In 2008, Barbara Osment, wife of Luther Osment, Pastor at the Camp Hill-Wesley United Methodist Church in Harpers Ferry, organized a small group of people (mostly from their congregation) that were interested in learning to play the mountain dulcimer. Currently, two other churches in Harpers Ferry are represented by the membership. These are St John’s Episcopal Church and St. Peter’s Catholic Church.
The group’s name was derived from an old hymn, “Oh Come, Angel Band”, written by Jefferson Hascall in 1860. This gospel spiritual is an uplifting hymn celebrating death. The song is written from the perspective of a dying person who calls to the angel band to bring them to their eternal home. It is a popular song performed by many folk and bluegrass artists. It is clearly a Christian hymn as it speaks of being saved through Jesus' suffering and conveys the belief in eternal life.
As the group’s name implies, the music performed is predominantly spiritual in nature and includes many known hymnal favorites as well as newer contemporary spiritual songs.
Just one month after forming the group, they were invited to play their first live performance at the “Friends of Peter Burr” annual harvest fair in Bardane, WV. Since then, they have performed locally at various churches and other special events, including Harpers Ferry Old Tyme Christmas, senior centers, and the John Brown 150th Commemoration.
In addition to these performances, the band plays the last Sunday of every month at the Camp Hill-Wesley UMC church service at 11:00AM.
Mary Jackson, lead singer with our Angel Band, has released her first CD of her beloved Christian music. Song titles include He Is Here, Written In Red, Watch The Lamb, Old Rugged Cross/Because He Lives, He's Alive, Nothing But The Blood, Feel The Nails, The Anchor Holds, Peace Speaker, The Only Real Peace, A Living Prayer, and Sweet Beulah Land.
This CD is available for $12.00 and can be purchased at Camp Hill-Wesley UMC or by by calling 304-535-3060.