McDowell Presbyterian Church


Elizabeth (Beth) A. Pyles is a transplanted West Virginian who absolutely refuses to let us tell ANY West Virginia jokes.

Beth came to McDowell and Headwaters on September 1, 2006 .

She practiced law for 22 years in West Virginia before attending seminary in Princeton, New Jersey, where she graduated in 2005.

She has three children and a grandson, in whom she takes great delight!

Beth's faith journey has taken her from a secure life in West Virginia to this (new) calling, this new home and a new life.


  I have learned so much since coming to McDowell:

      that learning how to navigate in a 4-wheel drive is a scary, but necessary skill......


      that "Pounding the Preacher" is not as dangerous as it sounds (Pounding the Preacher is a long-standing tradition of congregations around here of providing the new preacher with a good start, each congregant donating a pound of food and supplies)....


      that lady bugs do NOT bring good luck....

     that ants and other critters who shall remain nameless are reputed not to care for cayenne pepper...

    that you can practically watch wisteria growing....

     that cracking hickory nuts is only for the skilled as well as the strong....

     that some people will always eat their lamb with ketchup.

But I have also learned that the sound of the river at night is the sound of God's lullaby; that in the best of congregations, the pastor is ministered to as much as ministering; that the cross of Jesus is borne on many a wrinkled face - without complaint; that garden-grown vegetables are a gift to be craved and prized;  that creation is never to be taken for granted; and that life in the small church is alive and well and flourishing.

I can't wait to see what I'll learn next!

God's peace and grace,

Pastor Beth