SWEET SPRINGS, WV (WVNS) – The oldest standing Catholic church in West Virginia will be hosting an ice cream social to honor its age on Monday, August 15, 2022.

Built in 1839, the church served as a family church for the late Governor of VA, John Floyd, whose daughters attended Catholic schools in Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Virginia, and converted to the Catholic religion, along with their mother.

Priests serving in Sweet Springs in the 1800’s also rode horseback to outlying areas as far away as Summersville, Lewisburg, and Southwestern Va. establishing outpost churches in each area.

The church was built of brick by the slaves on the Lynnside Plantation, owned by the Lewis and Floyd family and the slaves also attended the masses in the church.

The church will be the setting for the annual Mass of the Feast of the Assumption on August 15 at 6 p.m. The ice cream social will be hosted right after the Mass. The church will be open at 4 p.m. for tours of the building which was constructed as early as 1839 and the public is invited to join.

Father James Conyers, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo in White Sulphur Springs and St. Catherine of Siena of Ronceverte will officiate with other priests from nearby Virginia and as far away as Raleigh, North Carolina are expected to assist.

Music for the Mass will be provided by the “Hymns and Hers” the choir of St. Catherine of Siena Church in Ronceverte.

For additional information on the Aug. 15 tours, Mass, and ice cream social, call the office of the Catholic Churches of the Greenbrier Valley at 304-536-1813 or the Greenbrier Valley Council 8689 Knights of Columbus 304-645-1373.

Anyone who wants to attend is encouraged to participate in the church events. The church is located on VA/WV 311 at its intersection with WV 3 in Sweet Springs.