Main Page‎ > ‎

Our History

    Otterbein United Methodist Church in Martinsburg dates from 1867 when the United Brethren Society built "Otterbein Chapel" which is located on Pennsylvania Avenue at the northeast corner of the church parking lot. This building is now the Martinsburg Apostolic Church. In 1946, the church became known as Martinsburg First Evangelical United Brethren Church. In 1968, with the merger of the Evangelical United Brethren and the Methodist Church, the name was changed to Otterbein United Methodist Church.

     The present Otterbein building was completed in 1912, and is a brick, Roman Gothic design. A bell tower extends from the southwest corner of the building and contains an 1835 pound church bell which is rung each Sunday morning. The educational building was built in 1951.

    Otterbein's sanctuary holds about 550 people on two levels. Originally, the balconies were used for Sunday School classes, the pastor's study was to the right of the pulpit, and other classes were located in a large basement. The sanctuary was renovated in 1980 and a small chapel was created behind the east wall. Other improvements were made in 1989.

    The stained glass windows were created by the Pittsburgh Art Glass Co. and are original to the 1912 building. The rose window over the pulpit was a gift of the Ladies Aid Society of the church. The west balcony window of the Good Shepherd was a gift of the Sewing Circle. The south balcony window of the Blessing Savior was given by the Young People's Christian Endeavor Society.

     Otterbein's Organ was originally crafted by the Moller Organ Co. of Hagerstown, MD in 1922. It was rebuilt in 1980 and upgraded from 9 to 13 ranks. There are a total of 812 pipes, ranging in size from 5/8" to 16'. The two manual consoles control three divisions - Great Organ, Swell Organ, and Pedal Organ - with 13 adjustable combination pistons and a full complement of couplers.

     Otterbein's congregation comes from throughout the Berkeley-Jefferson County area and is a mix of young families and long-time members. We are an active, friendly congregation with many programs for all ages.