Virtual West Virginia Mission Festival

Virtual West Virginia Mission Festival

You can make a difference!
Click here to go to the gofundme page.

For 5 years, First Church has been going to West Virginia on annual mission trips. No doubt, we’ve done a lot of good for a lot of people on these trips. Yet, as the years have moved along, we’ve come to realize that mission trips are not just about renovating homes and churches.  They are about forming relationships. 

When you form relationships, the mission trip does not end after a week. It goes on throughout the years. We have deep bonds with people in West Virginia who are making a huge difference in the lives of countless people living on the margins.

As part of our ongoing relationship with West Virginia, we’ve held Mission Festivals in to raise extra money for our partners. This year’s Festival was supposed to be Saturday, March 28th.

But we can still raise much needed money for our Mission Partners. Unfortunately, the coronavirus has had a devastating financial impact on the Folklife Center, as many mission groups have had to cancel their plans to travel there.

We were going to have an amazing day here in Bedford, with Tim and Maggie joining us to play traditional Appalachian music. We were going to have great food, a cake walk and other fun. But instead of being bummed out, let us get inspired with a virtual Mission Festival Fundraiser!

We have started a gofundme fundraising site, and have already raised almost $2,000.

Please join us in giving to the Folklife Center!  Thank you!


West Virginia Mission Festival

A Fun-Filled Event for the Entire Family

First Church normally holds an Annual West Virginia Mission Festival. The festival in 2020 was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

This fun evening benefit features Appalachian music and storytelling, a Southern-inspired buffet dinner, cake walk, an update on our WV partners’ progress and a wide variety of children’s activities.

Appalachian Music & Storytelling: One of the premier highlights of the First Church Mission Festival is live Appalachian music. We often welcome back Tim and Maggie, who were with us for the first festival. Tim and Maggie have spent decades studying and performing Appalachian music. They teach music professionally, work on instruments every day and play music in their spare time. They contribute their time and music to the local scene partly in hope that young people will get involved in music and the arts and find more joy in their lives and their communities. Their instruments are flutes and frets and their arrangements are contrapuntal, line against line, informed by the classic music of past masters. Wherever they play, people are charmed by their wit and compelling melodies. They can often be heard in Southern West Virginia, playing at restaurants, weddings, college programs, open mikes and local festivals.

Schedule of Events:

  • 5:00 Doors Open
  • 5:30 – 6:00 Tim and Maggie play music especially geared toward children
  • 6:00 – 6:30 First Cake walk and storytelling
  • 6:30 – 7:00 Tim and Maggie music set number 2
  • 7:00 – 7:30 Cup cake walk for kids and storytelling
  • 7:30 – 8:00 Tim and Maggie music set number 3
  • 8:00 – 8:30 Cake walk and storytelling
  • 8:30 – 9:00 meet Tim and Maggie in Vestry for questions and an instrument show and tell.

Cake Walk A favorite West Virginia tradition! You could have a chance to win a delicious home-made cake – if you land on the right number!

Children’s Activities are scheduled in throughout the evening to entertain and delight your young ones.

Goods and Services Auction A silent auction with many items/services donated by First Church parishioners opens at the Mission Festival.

Sweet and Savory Food Sale First Church members offer their finest baked goods, soups, chili’s and other delicious offerings.

Giving Wall we feature “The Giving Wall.” This is an integral part of our Mission Work that highlights key home improvement projects that are typically undertaken by The Appalachian Folklife Center. Projects available for you to fund range from $25 (for a bucket of nails) to $500 (buy lumber to build a deck). Personal Checks and Credit Cards are accepted. Receipts are provided for tax filing purposes.

Event Fees

A free-will donation is collected at the door with a suggested minimum of $15 per person or $40 per family.

Event Proceeds

All proceeds from the West Virginia Mission Festival funds First Church’s humanitarian mission work in West Virginia. This work has been going on for four years, and supports the work of a growing list of inspiring nonprofit partner organizations in West Virginia, including:

The goal of the Mission Festival is to raise money to help these organizations fight poverty through a wide variety of strategies, including home repairs and improvements, after-school education programs, and art and music programs to inspire young minds.

Bring a Friend!

Many of the people who attend this wonderful program are faithful parishioners of our congregation. Our goal is to “take it up a notch” each year.  Please consider inviting a friend or relative to join you the next time we hold this event.  It will be a unique, inspirational and fun-filled event you will remember for a long time.

Can’t make it to the event?
You can still help us by donating any amount to the West Virginia Mission Fund. Donations can made using your own personal Paypal account or any major credit card. Please select the button below to be connected to our secure Paypal website:

Invite All Your Friends and Family!