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Sarah Wilmoth on Creating Community Here at WVWC and Beyond

Mar 9, 2020

Fairmont’s Sarah Wilmoth, a junior at West Virginia Wesleyan, recently organized the Special Needs Prom on campus—only one of her many goods works on and off campus. When asked about it, she responded with enthusiasm, “Organizing the Special Needs prom is a lot of work but also so much fun. I organize all the logistics of it: coordinating volunteers, finding food donations, getting decorations, sending invitations, etc. I have wonderful volunteers who help me complete everything the day of the event. We have ladies come do hair/makeup/nails/dress fittings before the prom, student volunteers who help decorate earlier in the day, and people throughout the community who donate food or other things as we need them.

On the positive impact this had on students, Wilmoth said, “I love the joy it brings to the people who attend. The first year I was involved I was amazed at how grateful they were and how much fun they had. I cannot imagine not continuing this amazing event. I see the smiles on their faces and start planning for next year. Community is about taking care of others and bringing joy to those around you, and that is why this is so important.”

A major in religious studies with a minor in chemistry, Wilmoth’s school involvement is plentiful. She is a service scholar and walk-in tutor for the religion department, though her activities do not stop there. She is also a part of the United Intervarsity, a Christian fellowship group on campus. “Through these organizations,” she explained, “I have been able to learn a lot and work with some amazing people. They have helped me develop leadership skills, as well as developing a community for myself on campus.”

Additionally, she serves as a counselor in the summer for Spring Heights Church Camp in Spencer. Recently, Wilmoth started preaching once a month at a church outside of Philippi. “It has been a wonderful experience that has taken me outside of my comfort zone. I have been taken outside of my comfort zone a lot during my time here at Wesleyan, but I embrace that because I think that is how we grow. It is hard to put into words how much I have grown, but I know that I am not the same person I was when I started here freshman year.”

On top of all this, she found the time to be a member of the concert band, Appalachian Ensemble, and Bobcat Marching Band, where she was the baritone section leader this past year.

After graduation, Wilmoth plans on attending seminary and working in the ministry, “I’m not exactly sure what that will look like for me yet. It could be youth ministry, teaching somewhere, pastoring, or something else, who knows? I will go where God takes me.”

She also noted how Wesleyan helped prepare her for this path. “I chose Wesleyan because it had everything I was looking for,” she said. “The professors I met on visit days were amazing; it is a small campus; it was away from home but not too far away. It had a lot of opportunities to try new things and meet new people. The friends I have made will last a lifetime and I could not imagine life without them. The people here want to see your personal growth. They will help you grow and you will help them grow. It is a great place of support and community.”

On her goals for the future, Wilmoth had this reply: “No matter where I am or what I end up doing, I want to be someone who shows God’s love and kindness to everyone. I believe we are all made for community, but we live in a world that can be very exclusionary, especially in the church sometimes. I want to create communities where everyone can feel the love of others and most importantly feel the love of God.”

Story written by Ali Householder, sophomore intern at West Virginia Wesleyan College.