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Winchester woodworker restores historic Methodist church doors

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Although construction of our first log meeting house began in 1788 and was completed in 1789, many believe a society was formed which was in keeping with Methodist principles and practice as early as 1775. Historic records prove itinerant preachers served the Stephensburg society. This would make Stephens City UMC the oldest Methodist congregation west of the Blue Ridge.

The meeting house served until 1827 when it was torn down and replaced with a brick structure on the same site. During the Civil War, the church suffered considerable damage as the sanctuary was used as a hospital to treat both Federal and Confederate soldiers. The 1827 church sanctuary was repaired after the war, but eventually the church was considered “unsafe” and “uncomfortable” for worship. In 1882 the congregation replaced the 1827 building with a more spacious facility on the same site.

Church doors in different stages of rework at Shelly’s Custom Woodworking Shop based in Winchester. Courtesy Dustin Shelly.

Within thirty years, this building had become obsolete. In 1912 the congregation had swelled to over 200 people and church trustees purchased a corner lot just to the south on Main and Locust Streets. The old Captain Joseph Long Tavern (built 1835) was demolished and on this site in 1913 construction of the present church was begun and completed in March 1915. The church building is located at 5291 Main Street.


Nobody knows how many times the 107-year-old front double doors of the Stephens City UMC, built in 1915, have been refurbished. Maintenance records reflect the big doors were last sanded and stained in 2011 and were continuously painted white from 1915 until about 2000.

Dustin and Alijah move door from prep area to church front steps. Courtesy Marty Barley.

Due to the entranceway being exposed to exterior weather conditions, the Church Worship Team requested that the doors and trim be either replaced with more modern material or be refurbished in advance of the 20th Anniversary (2003-2023) of the Education Building and Orrick Chapel Fellowship Hall Dedication coming in 2023. A review of the Stephens City Historic District Guideline followed.

Design Review Guidelines for the Town of Stephens City Historic District, Section Porches, Doors, Entrances, states: “In rehabilitation, every effort should be made to save original doors. If the original doors cannot be saved and replacement is necessary, the new doors must be the same size, design and type as used originally, or sympathetic to the building style. In all cases, design assistance should be sought from the Historic Preservation Commission.”

Alijah Walker prepares to install refurbished double door. Courtesy Marty Barley.

The Trustees agreed to follow the Historic District Guidelines. They voted to save the doors and a capable woodworking contractor was sought. Shelly’s Custom Woodworking based in Winchester was selected to refurbish the wooden doors and also the choir room door which was always painted white and never removed from its framework.

Dustin Shelly was born and raised in Frederick County.  A graduate of Sherando High School in 2003, Dustin learned the carpentry trade at a very young age. “My father was a carpenter his entire life and was my biggest teacher; dad had the biggest influence on me and he was my best friend,” Shelly said. Mr. Donald Shelly was self-employed and worked on big horse farms and estates throughout Clarke and Loudoun Counties. “He started buying me tools for Christmas and Birthdays, as early as 12 years old. I still have and use all of the tools he left me.” Shelly now focuses on custom woodworking projects. “I began my own business four years ago,” he said.

Doors Before (left) – After (right). Courtesy Marty Barley

According to Shelly, the church doors are old-growth pine which was typically harvested around the turn of the 20th century. Old-growth refers to wood from trees that existed in forests for long periods of time. “This wood is much denser and more resilient to decay or damage than today’s wood. It is resistant to rot, stronger and harder and more stable. The effort to preserve the high-quality material in these doors is worth the effort,” Shelly said.

On August 8, Shelly took down the eight-foot double doors and transported them to his shop in Winchester. The doors were returned and installed fifteen days later. Shelly’s team (Robbie Ramage and Alijah Walker) used the old-fashioned method of sandpaper and elbow grease to remove the old stain and return the doors to their original wooden appearance. “To get the double doors back down to the original wood, it was just sanding, more sanding and mostly sanding by hand to make the wood surface smooth as glass. We employ high performance Minwax products for the stain and clear coat. To create a rich, dark exterior that looked fresh and new, three to five layers of stain were applied to both sides of the front doors. Since the entrance is exposed to outdoor weather conditions, protective sealants were added after the finish dried. We make sure to go above and beyond the manufacturer’s recommendations,” said Shelly.

The Choir Room door, located on the west side of the building, had never been taken off its jambs and was repainted many times over a one-hundred-year period. The old pine threshold was not protected from rainwater and had rotted out entirely. The door was removed from its frame, treated for wood rot, thoroughly sanded, fiber-filled and repainted. Shelly said the lower portion of the door was completely rotted out and had to be patched with a two-part filler. The water-based compound hardens and is ready for sanding in just minutes. He did the work right here on site. The damaged door threshold also had to be replaced with an oak substitute.

Dustin Shelly on church steps in front of the completely refurbished eight-foot double doors. Courtesy Marty Barley.

Shelly continues to expand and keep pace with new technologies in the custom woodworking industry. “We do have a small Computerized Numerical Control (CNC) machine,” Shelly said. CNC is a computerized manufacturing process in which pre-programmed software and code controls the movement of production equipment. “We have been utilizing CNC to make custom signs and home decor and also occasionally applying it to various pieces in our furniture projects,” he said.

Customers of Shelly claim that his work has always been of the highest quality and technical specification. His skill mix brings a wealth of knowledge and innovation to each job. Shelly’s team strives to provide the best quality work and attention to detail; excellent customer communication has led to a 90% call back rate and numerous customer referrals. Shelly’s father Donald, instilled in him the desire to genuinely care about the customer experience as well as the finished product.

“If Stephens City UMC can continue to provide periodic maintenance to these doors, they just might last another one hundred years,” Shelly declared.

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National school-choice advocate speaks in Front Royal

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The lady who engineered “the biggest school-choice victory in U.S. history in Arizona last fall” spoke on January 29, 2023, before more than a hundred people in Father Ruehl Hall at St. John’s Catholic Church in Front Royal. The subject was the “Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA)” program that went into effect in Arizona in September 2022.

The speaker was Christine Accurso, executive director of the ESA program for the Arizona State Department of Education. Accurso spoke for 20 minutes from a prepared script, then took questions for more than an hour and a half on how the ESA program works. The Front Royal Catholic Civic-Education Group sponsored the event.

Accurso made three main points in her presentation:
• Arizona’s new law makes all of Arizona’s 1.1 million school-aged kids eligible for $7,000 in ESA money that can be spent at any private or religious school. Since the program started last fall, the families of almost 50,000 students in Arizona have signed up for the program. About half have had some public school experience.
• Accurso expects the number of students signing up for the ESA program to double this year to approximately 100,000 students.
• Accurso repeatedly emphasized that ESA money does not go directly from the government to a school — but to a parent, who then decides how the money will be spent.

Accurso said this is exactly how many federally-funded programs —like the GI Bill, Pell grants, pre-K headstart, Medicaid, food stamps, and Section 8 housing — have operated for years. “For some reason,” Accurso stressed, “when it comes to K-12 education, teachers’ unions have built into our heads that it’s not right for public dollars to follow students. That simply is not true.”


Watch the event on this exclusive Royal Examiner video.

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Humane Society of Warren County opens thrift store

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On November fourth of last year, the Humane Society of Warren County opened a thrift store located at 450 S. Commerce Avenue, adjacent to On Cue and the CVS. As the proceeds go to support homeless animals, Pick of the Litter Thrift Store comes at a time when the HSWC greatly needs it.

Store manager Jessie Moore on the right, her assistant Laura Hickman on the left.

 

“It took a lot of work to put the planning process together,” executive director Megan Bowers explained. Previously HSWC hosted a yard sale once a year in June that generated four to five thousand dollars, but it proved to be lacking due to the requests they were receiving from the community for a place to bring donations.

“We could not have asked for a better community,” store manager Jessie Moore exclaimed. “Every day feels like Christmas!” Her positive outlook characterizes the store she runs, where a patron can help himself to a complimentary coffee and browse the collection of books, DVDs, rows upon rows of clothing, and the occasional odd item like a set of glassware.


Jessie said each day is different, and she never knows what will come in. It is all about “the fur babies,” as she jovially put it. She expressed relief that HSWC has finally generated a more reliable source of funding than the yard sale. Watching Jessie move around the store with her assistant Laura Hickman and interact with customers, it is obvious that they are thoroughly enjoying themselves. Of course, it is all about the fur babies.

 

This is an establishment that welcomes animals. Anyone browsing the goods is welcome to have their pet alongside them.

“They’ve done really well over there,” Megan said in praise of the Pick of the Litter team. HSWC has three branches: the shelter, the clinic, and the thrift store.

As proud and fond as many are of their four-legged family members, it is a consolation in this cold season to know that such a capable organization is doing everything possible to keep Warren County’s domestic animals on the warm side of the front door.

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As an ongoing consequence of pandemic impacts, fitness programs will end this month but rehab services will continue at Valley Health’s Outpatient facility here

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Royal Examiner asked Valley Health Public Relations Manager Carol Weare about planned service cuts locally as a consequence of the COVID pandemic outbreak of the past few years. This is what she told us:

“Due to unprecedented financial challenges related to the effects and after-effects of the pandemic, Valley Health has been taking steps to limit additional losses by evaluating all programs and services we offer. Like fitness facilities nationwide, Valley Health’s fitness programs experienced a decline in membership during the pandemic and never rebounded.

“As a result, we made the difficult decision to end our fitness membership programs in Berkeley Springs, WV, Front Royal, VA, and Woodstock, VA, effective Wednesday, February 1, 2023. Members are being notified and any membership balance or un-redeemed personal training or massage gift cards will be refunded promptly.

“We regret the disruption this decision will create for community members, whose fitness commitment and ongoing health are important to us.


Valley Health’s Outpatient Services Center in Front Royal on Commerce Avenue. While fitness programs will end February 1st, rehab services will continue uninterrupted.

“In our assessment, we carefully evaluated each program’s unique operational situation, including finances, building lease contracts and the availability of local fitness facility alternatives within the community.

“The fitness programs in Berkeley Springs and Front Royal are co-located with outpatient physical rehabilitation; those services will continue uninterrupted.

“As Valley Health continues to feel the lingering financial impact of COVID-19, we are evaluating where, when and how healthcare services are provided to ensure our stability as the region’s top care provider and employer of choice well into the future.”

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Warren County Department of Fire and Rescue Services Line of Duty Death – Funeral Notification

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With great sadness, we announce the passing of District Fire Chief Homer Larry Cross (Age 74) of the Fortsmouth Volunteer Fire Department.

On Monday, January 23, 2023, members of the Fortsmouth Volunteer Fire Department discovered District Chief Cross unresponsive at the Fire Station and began life-saving intervention procedures, but unfortunately, the Chief was pronounced deceased at the station.

District Fire Chief Homer Larry Cross

Chief Cross began his career as a firefighter with Fortsmouth Volunteer Fire Department in 1983. Later serving his community as a long-tenured District Chief, he dedicated himself to saving lives and helping those in need. Through his years in the fire service, Chief Cross felt honored to work alongside a fantastic group of men and women, many of whom serve in various fire service leadership capacities across the Commonwealth’s Fire Service today.


“District Fire Chief Homer Cross was an inspiration for our Department and a fixture on almost every fire ground,” stated Fire Chief James Bonzano. “He was a dedicated fire officer but, above all else, a great friend whose legacy will certainly live on through the care and compassion he instilled in the next generation of our Fire Department.”

Arrangements for District Chief Cross are as follows:

Family Night will be held Monday, January 30, 2023, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. at Maddox Funeral Home at 105 W. Main Street, Front Royal, VA.

A Funeral Service with Fire Service and Military Service Honors for District Chief Cross will be held on Tuesday, January 31, 2023, at noon at Riverton United Methodist Church at 55 E. Strasburg Road, Front Royal, VA.

A procession from the church to Panorama Memorial Gardens will be conducted, where final respects will be paid.

The Cross Family will receive guests following the service at the Front Royal Volunteer Fire Station at 221 N. Commerce Avenue, Front Royal, VA.

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The Trust Deed Pledge Plan: An investor’s greatest investment aspiration

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REAL ESTATE INVESTORS AND REAL ESTATE AGENTS

An original Trust Deed Pledge (TDPP) to help property owners from losing their entire property equity due to a foreclosure has been developed. By rescuing the equity and turning the owner into a qualified investor in plan, the owner continues to grow the funds rescued.

THE SECURED CASH INVESTOR POSITION IN THE TDPP INVESTMENT

The desire to be protected in a safe rewarding and timely investment is what the investor wants and needs and receives in the TDPP.

  1. Investment amount required? – Ans: ($60,000 total in small amounts by a group of investors)
  2. What is the reward? – Ans: (Pre-agreed fixed amount of $25,500 up to $42,500)
  3. What is the timing of investment? – Ans: (Estimated one-year)
  4. Amount of protection? – Ans: (Collateral exceeds invested amount)
  5. How is the investor “protected”? – Ans: (With a very strong superior legal position)

REAL ESTATE ACTIVITY EARNINGS

The TDPP offers a way to achieve an exclusive listing to sell (foreclosure free) for the agent/broker finding and introducing the necessary material to the foreclosure owner. There is strong competition, in the regular market place for exclusive listings, that makes it a challenge to accumulate enough listings for the average licensee to earn and build a personal lifetime wealth of a million dollars plus. It is fair to say the TDPP can do it.

The TDPP offers new type real estate earnings, separate from and in addition to a 6% sale commission.

  1. Introducing an original way to earn 1% of the sales price of a property and a second way to earn 5% of the net sales price of the property.
  2. There are other original ways to earn a fee of $9,000 and one of $15,000 for new type activity in the TDPP.
  3. Achieve an exclusive foreclosure free exclusive listing for the person processing the property owner joining the TDPP.
  4. Other unique exciting opportunities are available to earn profit in original ways within the TDPP!

Go to http://investmentrevelation.com for more information.

Robert L. Evans, President
Foreclosure Answer Affirmed, Inc.

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Jenspiration

Concern Hotline named beneficiary of Ride with Rotary

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Rotary Club of Warren County is excited to announce their beneficiary for the Ride with Rotary 2023 is Concern Hotline! Watch this video with Executive Director, Rusty Holland, as he shares a little about who the Concern Hotline is and what they offer to Warren County and surrounding counties.

Learn more about Concern Hotline: www.concernhotline.org

Concern Hotline is a free 24/7/365 anonymous information & referral, crisis intervention, and suicide prevention hotline serving the Northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

For Concern Hotline calls, dial any of these local numbers:


  • CLARKE, FREDERICK, WINCHESTER COUNTY – 540-667-0145
  • SHENANDOAH COUNTY – 540-459-4742
  • PAGE COUNTY – 540-743-3733
  • WARREN COUNTY – 540-635-4357

Ride with Rotary 2nd Annual Bike Event 

  • April 29th – Check in starts at 8am Rockland Park
  • Register Today!
  • Interested in being a sponsor? Call Jen Avery at 540-683-0790 to learn about sponsorship options.
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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:

@AHIER

Aders Insurance Agency, Inc (State Farm)

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Avery-Hess Realty, Marilyn King

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Card My Yard

CBM Mortgage, Michelle Napier

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Explore Art & Clay

Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Independent Business Alliance

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

Fussell Florist

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

Habitat for Humanity

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Key Move Properties, LLC

KW Solutions

Legal Services Plans of Northern Shenendoah

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Merchants on Main Street

Mountain Trails

Mountain View Music

National Media Services

Natural Results Chiropractic Clinic

No Doubt Accounting

Northwestern Community Services Board

Ole Timers Antiques

Penny Lane Hair Co.

Philip Vaught Real Estate Management

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Rotary Club of Warren County

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Cinemas

Royal Examiner

Royal Family Bowling Center

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Ruby Yoga

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

Shenandoah Shores Management Group

St. Luke Community Clinic

Strites Doughnuts

Studio Verde

The Institute for Association & Nonprofit Research

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

Valley Chorale

Vetbuilder.com

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

Warren Coalition

Warren County Democratic Committee

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warren County DSS Job Development

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

WCPS Work-Based Learning

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Feb
1
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Feb 1 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Feb
4
Sat
1:00 pm Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
Feb 4 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
New Bluegrass and traditional music jam the first Saturday of each month starting Feb. 4th, from 1pm till 4pm. All levels of playing invited to attend.
Feb
6
Mon
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 6 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
Feb
7
Tue
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 7 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
Feb
8
Wed
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 8 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Feb 8 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Feb
9
Thu
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 9 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
Feb
10
Fri
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 10 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
Feb
11
Sat
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 11 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
Feb
12
Sun
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 12 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]