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Job's Temple
Restoration Continues
by Helen Morris

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Historic Job’s Temple, which was started prior to the Civil War and finished afterwards, is being restored by a group of volunteers in Gilmer County.

The church sits on a steep hillside, about four miles from the Calhoun-Gilmer line, in the middle of a cemetery. This presented quite a few problems, combined with the deterioration of the logs and poor condition of the roof.

Job’s Temple Association is a determined group of preservationists. It received a matching grant last year from the Division of Culture and History for $32,500 to complete the first phase of stabilizing the hillside and rebuilding the foundation and walls.

The next phase is to replace the roof and supporting structure. A second grant of $19,000 was received, but it is still short of the $45,000 bid for the work.

When the roof was removed, a 36-foot roof log was rotten and needed to be replaced.

Contractor Frank Unger of Past Respects Historic Preservation in Spencer found a tree on his farm that could be used. The log was prepared according to rough-hewn methods used during the original construction.

Jason Youngblood, Jim Riggs and Paul Palmer use rough-hewn methods to finish a 36-foot log used as a replacement in the roof of Job’s Temple.

The next obstacle was getting the log down a steep grade from the parking lot without damaging tombstones. Because of the weight and length of the log, it could not be carried.

Bob Maxwell, president of the group, and wife Allie arranged for her brother, Tiff Hull of Goshen, Va., to bring his Percheron draft team to handle the task. Hull uses the horses on his farm for plowing and for wagon trains.

Unger and his crew of five men were aided by volunteers. The work can be observed as you travel west on Rt. 5 toward Glenville. A paved driveway turns left up the hill after the church is passed.

Bob Maxwell, president of Job's Temple Association, and Frank Unger, contractor, are shown with a type of broad axe used in the original construction.

Contributions can be made  to Job’s Temple Association, Louella Stalnaker, Treasurer, 9 Lorentz Drive, Glenville, WV 26351.

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