The Gathering started as Homeland Community Church in 2003. After 16 years on Camden Avenue in Parkersburg, WV, the church relocated to Myrtle St. and changed its name to The Gathering, the same name used by the north end campus planted by Homeland in 2018.
Our first worship service was held on January 5, 2003 in the Pinewood Village Community room. The
founding pastor was Reverend Ron Walker, a native of Parkersburg who had spent many years serving
churches in North Carolina.
Believing it to be the will of God, we united with the Wesleyan Church and on May 1, 2003 and the district
leaders offered us the use of some vacant facilities. They were badly in need of repair and remodeling, but
were far better than our rented room with folding chairs. We renovated the fellowship hall and held
services there until the main building project could be completed. Our first sanctuary service was held on
September 14, 2003. The place was packed with friends and loved ones, but it was the presence of the
Holy Spirit that really warmed our hearts.
On January 1, 2006 Dr. Brady Stephens became the Senior Pastor. Brady is also a native of Wood County
and had served churches in North Carolina and Virginia for several years.
Melody Smith began serving as Senior Pastor in July, 2019 after several years leading children’s ministry and working as Associate Pastor both at Homeland and it’s campus The Gathering.
While the church’s “history” has been exciting, it is the present and the future that hold our focus. God
has assembled a loving church family at Homeland. It has become the kind of church where you can go
from being a first time visitor to feeling like it’s home in a couple of weeks.
Our worship and our very existence are built on the single greatest
commandment given by Jesus Christ, and that is to have love for each
other. While the word of God is preached without compromise, we still
view our sanctuary as “the safe place.” No one is ever intimidated
- We believe that every person-regardless of age, race, education, social, or economic standing-needs
the Lord! Absolutely everyone. Therefore we open our doors and our hearts to all who wish to hear of
God’s love and life-changing grace offered through the Lord Jesus
- We believe in Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God.
- We believe in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father and the Son, and is the same essential
nature, majesty, and glory as the Father and the Son, truly eternally God.
- We believe that man’s creation in the image of God included the ability to choose between right and
- We believe that Christ’s offering of himself, once and for all through His sufferings and meritorious
death on the cross provides the perfect redemption and atonement for the sins of the whole world,
both original and actual.
- We believe that for man to receive what God’s prevenient grace has made possible, he must
voluntarily respond in repentance and faith.
- We believe that when man repents of his sin and believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, he in the same
moment is justified, regenerated, adopted into the family of God, and assured of his salvation through
the witness of the Spirit.
- We believe that although good works cannot save us from God’s judgement, they are the fruit of faith
and follow after regeneration.
- We believe that after we have experienced regeneration, it is possible to fall into sin, for in this life
there are no such height or strength of holiness from which it is impossible to fall.
- We believe that sanctification is that work of the Holy Spirit by which the child of God is seperated
from sin unto God and is able to love God with all his heart and to walk in all His holy commandments
- We believe that the Gift of the Spirit is the Holy Spirit himself, and He is to be desired more than the
gifts of the Spirit which He in His wise counsel bestows upon individual members of the Church to
enable them properly to fulfill their function as members of the body of Christ.
- We believe that water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the sacraments of the church commanded
by Christ and ordained as a means of grace when received through faith.
- We believe that the certainty of the personal and imminent return of Christ inspires holy living and
zeal for the evangelization of the world.
The following terms are descriptive of who we are and why we
do what we do. They describe the very “soul” of Homeland
Community Church. They are the core values because they are at
the center, primary motivations for all we do.
- BIBLICAL AUTHORITY: The Bible is the highest source of written authority for God’s plan for His
people: it reveals how to live out that plan, individually and corporately. Beliefs, practices, and
priorities are to be anchored in clear biblical teachings.
- CHRISTLIKENESS: Jesus Christ is the defining feature of God’s will for all of humankind. In
Christ is found the highest and most practical meaning and clearest example for holy living or
godliness. Christ is both example and strength as we pursue integrity, excellence, faith, hope, and
- DISCIPLE-MAKING: Making disciples is a clear mandate from Christ. To do so requires a strong
focus on evangelism and training in spiritual growth and holy living.
- BURDEN-BEARING: Unity in the assembly is one of the hallmarks of being all that Christ would
have us to be. The hurting need healing, not further wounding at the hands of the Lord’s
ambassadors. Love is the most powerful force in all of God’s creation.
- CULTURAL DIVERSITY: We believe that all people matter. Race economic status, education, or cultural differences will be
accepted in our membership. It is our will that Homeland Community Church mirror the diversity of
- CULTURAL RELEVANCE: Wesleyans are called to keep serving the present age. The Church
respects and builds on its past without becoming its slave. Wesleyans are “culturally informed” for
the sake of reaching people for Christ, but not “culture captives” in the sense of surrendering core
values, beliefs, and behaviors.
THE MISSION OF The Wesleyan Church
TO EXALT JESUS CHRIST BY:
Evangelizing the Lost
Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation (Mark 16:15).
Discipling the Believers
We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that
we may present everyone perfect in Christ (Colossians 1:28).
Equipping the Church
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is
the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together
by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part
does its work (Ephesians 4:15, 16).
Ministering to Society
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were
harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his
disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the
harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” (Matthew 9:36-
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him
all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,
whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities: all things were created by
him and for him…For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him
(Colossians 1:15, 16, 19).
Homeland Community Church embraces the mission statement of The
Wesleyan Church as their own.