The Retirement of the Shuck Pulpit Bible


On April 1, 1927 a council of the Greenbrier Baptist Association met at the Greenbrier County Court House and officially recognized the Baptist church organization of Lewisburg.  This organization, which had its inception about six weeks prior to the above mentioned date, had at the date of its recognition sixty-four members and an organized Sunday school.  A beautiful part of this special service was the presentation of the Bible that had been the pulpit Bible of the former Baptist organization in Lewisburg prior to the Civil War.

At the time of this church organizing and recognition there were no living members of that original congregation.  It had become scattered during the Civil War with the men joining to fight and either not returning or being killed.  Rev. P.H. Murray was the pastor of the church at the beginning of the war.  He entered the war as a chaplain and never returned to Lewisburg to resume his work.  The last surviving members of the former Baptist congregation in the Lewisburg area were:  Mrs. Francis J. Chockley, a sister of Thomas Pare; Mrs. Robert White, Sr.; and Mrs. Patsy Alderson Feamster.  They had long since died at this time.  The property was being occupied and used by Mt. Tabor Baptist Church, an African-American Baptist Church.

On the breaking-up of the church Mrs. Chockley took the Bible of the church in hand for preservation.  At her death she left it with her daughter, Mrs. Annie White, with the request that should another Baptist organization ever be formed in Lewisburg the old Bible was to be turned over to it.  Hearing of the formation of this new Lewisburg Baptist group, Mrs. White let it be known that she had the old Bible and of her mother's request.  It was sent to the church that it might be present at the reorganization services.

O.J. Hale, a representative of the Central Baptist Church in Hinton and the editor of the Hinton Daily News made a touching and appropriate address concerning the Bible.  Rev. H.B. Ferrell, pastor of the new congregation, stated that it was nothing other than the hand of Providence that preserved the old Bible for the present organization.  “While there has not been a Baptist church in Lewisburg for at least sixty-five years, yet this old Bible is the link in the chain which binds the new with the old, and the new organization is justly thankful for this sacred relic handed down to it from the old generation.”  On the pages of this new gift the officers of the new congregation were ordained. (This information was copied and modified from a typed page found in the opening pages of the old Bible being retired.)

This Bible we are retiring today was published in 1848.  It has been used in the Baptist Church and had a connection to the Baptist witness in Lewisburg for one hundred and fifty-three years.  It is something that has been used by this faith group for seventy-four years.  Today we retire this Bible with a new one in the front.  In a few weeks we shall have a glass box built for the old Bible that shall allow this wonderful history to be shared by all now and for future generations without loss of this piece of history.


The new Bible is being given today by the Church in honor of two very special people who have helped this church during the last many years of this church's ministry to Lewisburg.  For over 25 years this couple have done whatever has been asked of them in order to keep this church's ministry vibrant.  That couple is Elizabeth and Ray Compton.  Elizabeth has been the vice-moderator, a Sunday School teacher for all ages, a choir member, an active participant in American Baptist Women’s Ministry, and involved in so many projects of the church.  Ray has served as Deacon, Trustee, choir member, Chair of Pastor-Selection Committees, and as the person for many years who saw to the repairs and upkeep of this facility.  Both of these people adopted this as their church when they moved to Lewisburg from their home church in Mullens, WV.  They have been here working and struggling with all in this church for the past many years to make it the lighthouse it needs to be for this community.

We are proud of all the many contributions made by persons in their call to the ministry to this church and to the Lord, most of all.  We are proud of those who have served as Sunday School teachers and Janitors and Deacons and Clerks and Bookkeepers and Committee persons.  We are proud of their contributions.  Today is the opportunity to honor two such persons.  We honor all today as we honor this couple.  Today is Ray and Elizabeth Compton Sunday at our church.  Join with us as we worship the Lord together.

Ray & Elizabeth Compton
Ray & Elizabeth Compton
Shuck Choir The choir sang hymns this special day that were favorites of Ray & Liz as well as many other members of the church.

Music Director Chris Hicks also played some of Ray & Liz's favorite hymns.  Chris Hicks

Ron making the presentation Rev. Ron Miller presented the new bible to the church in honor of the many years of service and dedication to Shuck Memorial Church by Ray and Liz Compton.

Liz & Ray with daughter Wanda
Liz's granddaughter Stacey Smith
Ray & Liz were honored to have their daughter, Wanda Carr, Hagerstown, Md,. in attendance. Stacey Smith (granddaughter of Liz & Ray) and husband Dave Smith of Roanoke, Va. also attended the presentation.

Liz Compton & Dreama Pettit, two old friends and long-time members of Shuck Memorial Church share some memories

Rev. Ron Miller with Liz & Ray

Ray with Pastor
Ray Compton shares thoughts 
with Pastor Ron Miller.
Liz Compton in a lighter moment 
with Choir Director Chris Hicks.