May 10, 2011: The First United Methodist Church in Shinnston holds a celebration every year just before Mother’s Day. It is a Mother/Daughter event. Sometimes it is an evening event, sometimes afternoon and with a wonderful theme every year. Candy Fiorito, Lexie Barnes, Leigh Ann Merrifield, and Julie Gregory call upon the Methodist Men as servers and plan a tea, dinner, or lunch around the theme. Several years ago it was a Western theme and the men wore kerchiefs and cowboy hats. Another year the men wore white shirts and bow ties. One year it was a Luau theme. This year it was Queen For A Day. On Saturday, May 7, two Pages opened the doors for the arriving ladies. They walked through the gates of the castle, past the dungeon, to the Great Hall.
The ladies of the Church who met the criteria of having served their Church, shown courage, compassion, character, and confidence in GOD AND have lived on this Earth for at least 8 decades were the contestants. Lucille Anderson (she has allowed the innkeeper at the Gillum House to call her Mama), Mary Jane Bowman, Jean Currey, Wanda Dillaman, Nellie Gainer, Margie Hardesty, Melba Harmer, Mary Hawker, Billie Maul, Merle Miller (she will soon be 101), Jessie Smith, Dorothy Stalnaker, Norma Thompson, Martha Jane Westfall, Geraldine Wiseman, and Katherine Woods were the honored contestants vying for the crown. A basket of wrapped roses was offered to each contestant and the lady who chose the white rose was Queen. Queen Melba Harmer was crowned by Miss West Virginia 2010, Cali Young. It was a wonderful time for over 100 ladies – Mothers, daughters, granddaughters, and great-granddaughters.
Queen Melba was persuaded to don her crown in Church Sunday as she sat enthroned in the Chior.