Buckeye Hollow Church got its beginnings in 1903. The church started when a Missionary/Teacher started having services in a school building. From there a small church was built, then another small white church replaced that one. Finally in the 50's the white church had some fire damage, and the present day church was built. The church started as a shouting Methodist church. Sometime in the 1930's, a preacher by the name of Pete Lilly, came to the church preaching about the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Several people started to seek for the this gift and received it. The church then split off from the Methodist church and became a Pentecostal Holiness Church. This miraculous event forever changed the lives of the people of Buckeye Hollow. Although there were different pastors through the years, Bro. Robert Hayden was probably the longest tenured pastor. Bro. Robert was an humble man. He was a simple farmer whom God called to preach the gospel. When Bro. Robert was seeking for the Holy Ghost, he was actually plowing in the fields. It was said that at the end of every row, he would ask God, "Give me the Blessing," and God did. Bro. Robert was a wise man of God, with his greatest quality was having the ability to follow the spirit of the Lord. Bro. Robert was the pastor of the Church until his death in 1989. He was in his 80's.
The 1970's Revivals In late 1969 and early 1970 the church was going through a low period. Many people had quit coming to church. There were hardly any musicians left to play. There were only a handful of people coming regularly. One day Bro. Robert was on his way to the mill when he saw a man all dressed up, carrying a fiddle case, standing on the side of the road. He stopped and picked up the man. They bid each other good day and started down the road. In the middle of their drive, the man looked to Bro. Robert, who was wearing his denim overalls, and told him, "You are a minster." Bro. Robert said, "Well some people call me that." The man said, "No, you are a preacher." In the middle of nowhere, he tells Bro. Robert that it was his stop. So Bro. Robert let him out, but when he looked back the man was gone. A few weeks went by and the church was still going through the low period, Bro. Robert pulled up to the side door and told his wife, "Mom, I don't know whether to go in or not." Bro. Robert decided to go in "one more time." He went in and sat down, eyes closed, with his hands on his head. When the same little man appeared in the church. He came down to Bro. Robert, and spoke to him so closely that Bro. Robert could feel the man's breath on his cheek. He then spoke to Bro. Robert, calling him by name "Robert." Bro. Robert answered him,"Yes, Lord." The man said, "Robert, I am going to send you some help." When Bro. Robert opened his eyes, the man was gone. It wasn't long after that, in March of 1970, that a great revival took place. March 17, 1970, on a Sunday morning several people were saved. On of those people was a 16 year old boy name Wade Kestner. After that, people started getting saved left and right. The church grew to over 200 members and over 80 young people were saved. Soon after, with hardly any musicians left in the church, Bro. Robert had all the young people who were interested in playing music to come up to the altar. He anointed their hands and asked God to bless them and teach them to play. Before long there were piano players, guitar players, and drummers in the church. It was a wonderful "Reviving" of the church. Remnants of that revival went on through the early 1970's.
In 1989, after Bro. Robert went on to be with the Lord, Bro. Wade Kestner was voted in as pastor of the church. Bro. Wade was born January 30, 1954, and raised in Buckeye Hollow. He had always come to church with his mother from the time he was born, but that day in March 1970, God started to prepare him for the calling that was going to bestow upon him. At the age of 19, he married his girlfriend from the age of 5, Carol Jean Roark. A few years down the road, he got the call to preach. Bro. Wade studied and apprenticed under Bro. Robert for many years. He was by Bro. Robert's side up until the end. He traveled with him, took him to churches all over Virginia. They had a father/son relationship. Today, Bro. Wade still continues to carry on with the Gospel. He stands up for Holiness, and preaches with a special anointing. He is actively working to preserve the heritage of the church, while looking toward the future as well. God has blessed them with three boys, Josh and wife Jane, Caleb and wife Misty, and Jordan, and five grandchildren, Kristopher, Hannah, Colton, Levi, and Cayden.
A few years ago, Bro. Wade had a vision of building a new and bigger church. There was one problem. At the time there was no property available to build a new church. He did not want to relocate the church out of Buckeye Hollow because the church is the cornerstone of the community. However, in the summer of 2008, a piece of land became available only 1/4 of a mile up the road from the current church. The lot was 3.3 acres and relatively flat. The church was able the raise the $30,000 to pay for the land in only 2 months, by fundraising and donations! A year later, the church broke ground on the new site, getting some of the rough grade work done. From that time, there has been more grade-work done, with the basement for the church being graded out. The footers were dug in late Fall of 2011, and got poured in May of 2012. On May 10, 2012, the first block was laid. In the Fall of 2013, the framing started. With a crew that consisted of only one real carpenter, Bro. Wade, the Framing was completed in only a few short weeks. In fact all the exterior walls were assembled and standing in about 36 hours. The Lord has surely blessed. All the progress so far has been paid for by funds raised by the church members themselves. This new church will be 46' by 110', with the sanctuary 85' long inside. It will have a full basement under it with Sunday School rooms, kitchen, and fellowship hall included.
The church members are still actively fundraising to raise money to help pay for the church. God has been with the church every step of the way, and he will continue on into the future. Donations can be made to the church by contacting Bro. Wade or Sis. Carol at 276-496-4170.
Although we are working towards a new building, the church's main focus is getting souls saved. We believe God is allowing us to build this bigger church because he is going to fill it with souls. "Where there is no vision, the people perish," (Prov. 29:18).
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