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National Park Service

U.S. Department of the Interior

New River Gorge National River
P.O. Box 246
104 Main Street
Glen Jean, WV 25846
304-465-0508
www.nps.gov/neri

New River Gorge National River News Release
For Immediate Release: February 11, 2016
Media Contact: Julena Campbell, Public Affairs Officer, 304-465-6523, julena_campbell@nps.gov

National Park Service Seeks Information in Theft Case
Glen Jean, West Virginia – The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking information in the investigation of a
recent break in and robbery of the historic Baptist “black church” in Quinnimont, a small riverside community
along State Route 41 inside New River Gorge National River. On Sunday, February 7, NPS rangers
discovered that numerous furnishings had been stolen from the church. The missing wooden furniture
includes: 11 pews (ranging from seven to ten feet long, most of them with end arm rests and hymnal racks
on the back, and upholstered red seat cushions), five spindle back choir benches (approximately six feet
long, with end arm rests and red seat cushions), three high back chairs (with arm rests, and upholstered red
back and seat cushions), two slat back chairs (no arm rests, no seat cushions), two rectangular tables
(several feet in length), a large three-sided podium, and a small lectern stand.
Quinnimont is one of the first coal mining towns of New River Gorge. The “black church” was constructed
around 1900 to serve Quinnimont’s growing African American community during a time of segregation. “This
church is more than just a piece of our history,” Superintendent Trish Kicklighter said on Thursday. “It also
represents the future preservation of an important story. Local volunteers have donated dozens of hours to
participate in a clean-up day, oral history interviews, and other projects to get the church and surrounding
area ready to be featured as a premier stop along a new African American Heritage driving tour that the
NPS and several community partner organizations are developing this year. These items are irreplaceable
and we are reaching out to the community to assist us in finding the person or people responsible for this
crime and to have the furnishings returned.”
Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact the NPS at 304-465-6516 or Crime Stoppers
of Raleigh County at 304-255-STOP (7867). The 24-hour tip line allows callers to remain anonymous. Cash
rewards of up to $1000 are available to anyone providing information that leads to an arrest. Information on
this crime or other violations may also be reported online at www.crimestoppersofraleighcounty.org.
www.nps.gov

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