I have been intrigued by the name of The Foundry Church since it opened at 432 High St. A foundry, of course, is a workshop or factory that casts metal.
There have been many foundries in the greater Morgantown region, thanks to the local abundance of iron and high-quality silica sand used in the casting process. There was even a foundry on WVU’s campus in Mechanical Hall II, which once stood where the Mountainlair parking garage plaza is today.
The Foundry Church’s building was originally a Baptist church, constructed in 1956. The exterior is a bit stern. The true beauty of the stained glass windows can only be seen from the inside. Pastors Justin and Kara Myers acquired the building in 2021 and grew within it a church affiliated with the Assemblies of God, the world’s largest Pentecostal denomination.
When I first heard of The Foundry, I thought the name sounded like a hip restaurant or nightclub, but it’s hard to deny that the process of casting metal can be spun to a religious connotation, too. As stated on the website, one of the church’s values is “Spiritual formation: We are shaped by our journey with Jesus.”
When I visited The Foundry during a Sunday service, the music program was a wonderful sensory experience, during which the overhead lights were dimmed and a sound system kicked on. I noted that the congregation was small but skewed towards young, childless adults. This is notable among the area churches I have visited, which tend to have a lot of older adults and families with small children in the pews rather than a college-age crowd.
The people gathered seemed to be engaged in the service and with each other. Another of The Foundry’s stated values is to build an authentic community. They have made good headway in two short years.
In West Virginia, industrialists found the means to transform iron into useful objects. Likewise, I surmise that The Foundry intends to guide local people in their faith journeys and to form them into valuable resources for the community.
EVA MURPHY is a freelance business writer for The Dominion Post. She writes a column on businesses, churches and other entities in the city. To suggest a topic, email her at Newsroom@DominionPost.com.