McDowell Presbyterian Church

Who We Are

Christian church

We're a small rural congregation in the highlands of Virginia. Folks say we're friendly, evidenced by our passing of the peace turning into a hug party every Sunday. Chocolate communion, flying paper airplanes, hopscotch and making old folk do silly things are some of the ways we wrestle with God's Word, which we take seriously enough to be able to laugh through. Everyone gets involved in mission, helping neighbors in need, supporting the local Food Bank, learning about the troubles of far-away places and putting our money where our mouth is. There's always room for one more, so we hope you'll stop in when you come by -- the door is always open -- always.

Our Services

Service Times

  • 09:45am - Headwaters Chapel
  • 11:15am - McDowell Presbyterian Church

What to Expect

What are services like?
We're pretty liturgical, so the service structure is fairly formal, while the style is very informal, with folks speaking their feedback during sermons, passing of the peace a veritable hug party, and a pot luck lunch after service at McDowell.

What is the community like?
Headwaters is a tiny chapel and a welcoming space for folks who really hate crowds. McDowell is the 'bigger' church (still pretty small). We're welcoming, but we're Presbyterian, which means we won't church-stalk you just for visiting once. We'll always be glad to see you and hope you come back. We're a rural community of folk raised here and who have moved here. Most folk have a garden and share their produce freely (you may want to lock your car if you don't want to find a bunch of zucchini in the front seat after service in August). Like everybody else, we're just trying to figure it out, help where we can and faithfully follow God's leading in our lives. Sometimes you have to look pretty close to see it, because we don't talk much about our work that way -- that would be bragging.

What if I'm not a Christian?
Chances are if you're visiting a church, you're interested in something we've got to offer. Take your time. Check it out. We'll give you all the space you need and answer your questions the best we can. Some of our best friends think we're pretty crazy for being church, so chances are you'll fit right in. This is just a way of saying if you're seeking something and thinking that something just might be God, you'll find a place here. If, on the other hand, you're merely looking for a place where you can serve the world in some way, we do that, but without God in the equation, there are clubs who do a better job than we do. If you're of another faith tradition, you will always be a welcome guest with us. Our table is open to everyone, for it is not our table, but God's and we understand that God welcomes everyone.


Beth Pyles

Beth Pyles

Former lawyer, mother, grandmother, peace activist, preacher, teacher, pastor, lover of life

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