After nearly three decades as pastor of King's River Worship Center in St. Albans, Pastor Ron Crum will deliver his final sermon this month.
"I am really torn about it," Crum said of his upcoming departure. "I believe it's time. I've always asked the Lord that I would leave at the right time. I will always be a mountaineer at heart."
He will speak at 9 a.m. and again at 10:45 a.m. Sunday at the church, located at 777 Mallory Lane.
A farewell celebration will also be held 6 p.m. that day for Crum and his wife, Phyllis. The reception is open to the entire community.
Crum is leaving the area to join the executive team of Griffin First Assembly in Griffin, Ga., where he will oversee the Georgia School of Leadership and Ministry, an extension of Southeastern University.
"I am excited about a new opportunity to train young men and women for ministry," he said.
Crum, 54, was just a teenager when he felt called to the ministry.
The son of a coal miner and the youngest of nine children, Crum grew up in Eunice, in Raleigh County. When his brother took him into a coal mine, he couldn't wait to get out.
His heart was in the church.
He was at a youth camp at age 15 when he sensed that God wanted him to be involved in the ministry. By the time he was in college, he was speaking at revivals.
He remembers delivering his first sermon on April 1, 1976 but he can't recall the topic.
"It was eight minutes long. People probably wish I would go back to that," he said with a chuckle.
Crum is now an ordained minister of the Assemblies of God in Springfield, Mo.
He earned a bachelor's degree in ministerial studies from Southeastern University in Lakeland, Fla. He holds a master's degree in counseling from Marshall University and a doctorate of ministry in leadership from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary of Evangel University.