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LDS Church creates new ward in Hedgesville

November 02, 2007

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Major changes took place at the October conference of the Martinbsurg Stake for area members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Donald Fishel, 60, of Martinsburg, was called to serve as bishop for the newly created Hedgesville Ward, which was organized at the conference. This new congregation was created from two existing congregations, Martinsburg and Mill Creek Wards. Together, the wards had about 1,000 members before being reorganized. Hedgesville Ward now has a membership of 395 members. Another unit was formed recently in McConnellsburg, Pa.

A stake in the LDS Church is a geographic area that encompasses a number of wards, or congregations, which in turn are usually presided over by bishops. Martinsburg Stake has 10 congregations with about 3,500 members in Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Fishel has filled a number of positions during his years in church service. He served as bishop of the Martinsburg Ward in 1982. Most recently he was a member if the stake High Council. Fishel and his wife, Annette, are the parents of six children. They have lived in Martinsburg since 1967. Fishel will continue working for Allegheny Power, where he has worked for 40 years.

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The LDS Church has an entirely lay clergy. The office of bishop requires leadership and skill in delegating, He needs the ability to kindly make assignments and to follow up. Other responsibilities include watching over his congregation's spiritual and temporal needs, working with the youth and community and to preside over and conduct congregational meetings. He has chosen two counselors from his congregation, Don Wrye and David Smith, to help him fulfill his duties.

"I have a sense of urgency in helping the people in our communities understand our faith," Fishel said. "We believe the callings we receive to serve in the Church are from God."

Fishel encourages his members to be good citizens and will help them reach out to community organizations in worthy causes.

The church is at 1050 Lovelace Way, Martinsburg. Sunday services include worship service at 11 a.m. followed by Sunday school and primary classes for children, young men's and young women's classes, priesthood groups and the Relief Society meeting for women.

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