Tyrand Cooperative Ministries' colorful history dates back to 1962. The Methodist Churches in the upper Tygart Valley became a cooperating parish. Tyrand's mission is to provide essential services to meet the emergency needs of the less fortunate individuals and families in Randolph County. A secondary purpose is to advocate for social changes which will better address the needs of the communities we serve. Another purpose is to provide opportunities for ecumenical nurture, growth and worship activities among the participating churches.
Tyrand's past is a venture of faith. Although undergoing some difficult times, the ministry moved forward under the leadership of Rev. Gilbert Hart. The first venture of the ministry was the birth of a clothing store set up in the home of Linda Zickefoose, Tyrand's first Church and Community Worker. They soon moved to the former Cox store building in Huttonsville.
In 1965 the West Virginia Annual Conference purchased the Cameron Stalnaker property in Mill Creek. The property consisted of 300 acres. In 1973, after going through some difficult times, the farm was sold except for a five acre tract where Tyrand is located now.
In 1968 Rev. Richard Miller served as director for one year at which time Rev. Mack Boggs was appointed and Miss Waunita Trickett, Deaconess, was appointed at the new Church and Community Worker. At this point Tyrand found a new home in the Old Carnation Mill Plant in Huttonsville.
In 1971 Rev. Samuel Butcher was appointed as the new Director. It was during this time that Tyrand began its ecumenical relationship with the Catholic Church in Huttonsville. The years following the Presbyterian, Baptist and Nazarene Churches began participating in Tyrand's ministries.
In 1977 we outgrew the Old Carnation Milk Plant and construction was started on a new facility on the five acres owned in Mill Creek. The Rev. Thomas Malcolm was named the fifth director in June of 1982. By 1983 the first floor of the building was complete and new ministries were in the works for the Mission. The first was the Emergency Food Pantry, housed in the metal building on the property until the second floor of the new building was completed. Donald Swecker, a faithful volunteer, stayed many nights keeping the fire in the wood stove making sure the food did not freeze. The second ministry formed was work with Literacy, led by our US-2 worker, Margaret Kay Weekley. On August 25, 1985, Resident Bishop Grove, of the West Virginia Annual Conference led the Service of Dedication for the completed new facility.
In 1988 Rev. Donzel Wease was appointed as the sixth director. In 1989 Rev. William J. Anderson became the seventh director. In 1992 Rev. Regionald A. Thomas was appointed as the eighth director of Tyrand.
In October 1998, Tyrand crossed another milestone in its history. Belinda L Toms was hired as the ninth executive director after serving in other capacities at Tyrand since 1987. Belinda was the first lay person and the first female to serve as the Director of Tyrand.
In 1998 the clothing store was renovated and opened up as "Tyrand's Noah's Ark Thrift Store". Elaine Hogan was hired as the Volunteer Coordinator (1998-2009) and part of her duties was to oversee the Thrift Store.
In 2000 the need to have a dormitory to house our work teams due to the old barn not being safe to sleep in it anymore. After securing funding construction began on March 17, 2004. By June 2005 our work teams were able to stay in the new Bunkhouse. The Bunkhouse is also an approved Disaster Shelter for Randolph County and October 30, 2012 we had 32 inches of snow and the Bunkhouse was opened for shelter and remained open for 13 days housing individuals and families who were left without power. We also served 2,640 meals during this time. We were blessed with several volunteers throughout that time. We are indebted to many who helped us take care of our neighbors during the storm.
In February of 2013, The Independent Order of Odd Fellows presented Director, Belinda Toms, with the Humanitarian of the Year Award. This award was in recognition of Tyrand's staff and volunteers for their commitment in helping their neighbors during Hurricane Sandy's snow storm.
In 2013 we noticed the old barn's support beams were deteriorating and would need torn down. In June of 2015 we constructed a new Pole Barn to house the building supplies, tools and donated furniture that had been in the old barn. In 2016 the old barn was torn down.
In March 2020 the COVID-19 Pandemic hit and at this time (Jan. 2022) we are still dealing with COVID.
Tyrand's staff and volunteers follow the direction of Christ in serving the less fortunate.
For a more extensive history you can contact us at Tyrand.