International Mother’s Day Shrine
Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church, the “mother church” of Mother’s Day, was incorporated as the International Mother’s Day Shrine on May 15, 1962, as a shrine to all mothers. The Shrine was constructed in 1873 and is located along Main Street in downtown Grafton in Taylor County, West Virginia. The International Mother’s Day Shrine was designated a National Historic Landmark October 5, 1992. Its location is approximately one mile south of the junction of U.S. Route 50 and U.S. Route 119. The shrine is open by appointment and available for wedding services and tour groups.
Every Mother’s Day, those who stop in can see the Sunday School room where Anna Reeves Jarvis called for someone, somewhere, sometime to establish a day honoring mothers. You can see the small Sunday School chair that daughter Anna was sitting in when her mom taught this lesson on “Mothers of the Bible.” You can view historical photos of Grafton, some from the late 1800s and early 1900s when Mother’s Day was established. You can climb the stairs to the second-floor sanctuary and sit on the original church pews that Anna, her sister, and mom used over the years they worshipped here.
You can sit quietly, close your eyes, and imagine what it would have been like to have been here when 407 attended the first official observance of Mother’s Day. You can enjoy the sound of musical selections being played on the Shrine’s pipe organ. You can experience the beauty of sunshine refracted as it shines through multi-colored pieces of stained glass that make up 15 beautiful and large stained-glass windows surrounding the former church sanctuary. Nine of these windows have recently been fully restored by Williams Stained Glass of Pittsburgh. You can view large wall murals of Bible scenes that were painted by a local artist who started in the late 1800s and put the finishing brush strokes on the last mural in the early 1930s.