Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

August 26, 2013

Beautifying downtown Princeton

Church group prepares walls for mural artists

PRINCETON — The chips were flying Sunday afternoon as a youth group and some adult members of Princeton’s First United Methodist Church came out to assist Community Connections in a wall-scrapping project to prepare them for a pair of facing murals.

“There is going to be a big archway here near the sidewalk,” Rebecca Schaeffer, youth pastor at First United Methodist said. “There will be murals on both of these walls, and this area in between will be a community garden. I think it will be a beautiful place.”

Schaeffer said that she had been looking for a community project for her youth group to get involved in, and she learned of Community Connections’ efforts.

“This was perfect for us,” she said. “We just came over here and started work after church let out. This fits in with Reverend Scott Sears’ idea that he wants the church to be in the heart of Princeton.

“I’ve never worked with a hammer this small before, but it seems to be pretty good for this kind of work,” Sears said. “A little physical work is good for you.”

About 14 volunteers turned out to help on Sunday afternoon. Greg Puckett, executive director of Community Connections, was perched high on a wall in a bucket truck courtesy of Sexton Services of Princeton.

“Jessica Basham contacted Sexton Services and asked for some help, and (Dave) Sexton said: ‘Where do you want it and when do you want it there?’” Puckett said. “This is a perfect community project. I think you’re going to see many community projects like this going on in the next year.”

Betsy Horton, 15, a sophomore at Princeton Senior High School, said that she enjoys community service. “I went to the National Scout Jamboree last month,” she said. “This was the first year that they let girls attend. I went out with a group of scouts that did a community service project in Oak Hill. It was fun.”

Horton said that not too many young people her age get involved with community service projects. “It’s fun!” she said. “You get to do a lot of things.”

Schaeffer said that after the walls are scaled, volunteers will clean them with a power washer. Community Connections will sand blast the walls and cover it with a clear coat before artists begin working on the two facing murals.

— Contact Bill Archer at

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