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Greenbrier Historic Home Tour gospel concert with Ethel Caffie-Austin

June 14, 2015 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm



The Greenbrier Historical Society has announced its 2015 Tour of Historic Homes and Gardens to be held the weekend of June 12-14, 2015. With a theme of “Levels of Legacy”, this weekend of activities will highlight a historic farm, several historic houses, and a unique church built by Meadow River Lumber Company.

On Sunday afternoon, visitors are invited to follow old Route 60 to Rainelle where they will be treated to a tour of the Rainelle United Methodist Church. Dedicated in 1914 and built of native West Virginia chestnut, harvested before the disease which caused “wormy chestnut”, it is a beautiful example of early 20th century church architecture. Following the tour of the church, guests will be treated to a gospel concert at 3:00 p.m. by Ethel Caffie-Austin who has been called West Virginia’s “First Lady of Gospel Music.” Lunch is also available at the church by a separate ticket.

A native of Mount Hope, Vandalia Award winner Ethel Caffie-Austin is known as West Virginia’s “First Lady of Gospel Music.” She began playing piano at the age of six, started accompanying church services at nine and directed her first choir at age 11. Throughout her life, she has carried on a rich tradition of African-American gospel singing, piano playing and worship. She has taken her music and ministry into prisons, schools and government housing projects, and has performed at festivals across the country and in Europe. She also is in demand as a clinician and often presents gospel workshops in conjunction with the Vandalia Gathering. She founded the Black Sacred Music Festival at West Virginia State University in Institute and has several recordings and an instructional videotape to her credit. She was the subject of a 1999 documentary film entitled “His Eye Is On the Sparrow” and a 1997 Goldenseal magazine article, “Hand-Clapping and Hallelujahs: A Visit with Ethel Caffie-Austin.”

Sponsors for the Home Tour event include Bella, the Corner Gourmet; Edith’s Store; Watt’s Roost Winery; The Bakery; B-Sweet; The General Lewis Inn; Food and Friends; The 19th Hole/TLP; Ronceverte Feed Store; and more.

For more information, please call the Greenbrier Historical Society at 304-645-3398. Tickets, available at the North House Museum and the Greenbrier Convention and Visitors Bureau, are $50 for the gala on Friday evening, $30 for the Homes tour on Saturday, and $10 for the church tour and concert on Sunday afternoon. A combination ticket can be purchased for $80. The lunch at the church is a separately ticketed event and tickets are available for $10. Both the gala and church lunch tickets must be purchased in advance and by Monday, June 8. Saturday Home Tour tickets and Sunday Church Tour and Concert tickets may be purchased at the door.


Greenbrier Historical Society


Rainelle United Methodist Church
617 Kanawha Ave
Rainelle, WV 25962 United States
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(304) 438-7204