43 years later, LoveShine reunites at WVWC

By Caitlin Ware

LoveShine members attending their reunion live at West Virginia Wesleyan College on July 27, 2019, were DO and Gee Owens, WVUMC Communications Intern Caitlin Ware, Paula Lowther McGrew, Paul Brown, Wendy Rodan Tuell, Leslie Flack Miller, Cheryl Isner Olcott, Chris Wagner. Another 50 former members attended the reunion via online streaming.

“Why exist with your inner strife? Let the Father take hold of your life. Don’t stay the same, just praise His name and you’ll find the warmth and the comfort and peace that He gives and let the love shine.”

This call to let God’s love shine still rings out after more than 43 as West Virginia Wesleyan College saw a reunion on July 27, 2019, for members of the Wesleyan Christian drama group LoveShine that began in September 1976.

LoveShine comprised WVWC students who came together to glorify God by using their talent and creativity to write and perform skits and music. They performed in worship services, coffeehouses, workshops, and toured throughout the region visiting churches to share God’s love. The 70s group was well known for their performances, tie-dye and overalls, and welcoming children into programs they held. LoveShine would continue on until 2003 when much of the group had graduated.

The reunion saw great celebration over how long the group had lasted and for all the lives the group touched. Founder Paul Brown returned after 48 years away from the college to discover the group had carried on for 27 years. Surprised, he stated, “I had no idea the group went on for this long. It all started out of a love for improv theatre and a want to show God’s love for the world.”

Around a dozen attendees at the reunion and 50 online streamers worshipped and even recorded an original song about John Wesley’s “Do All the Good You Can” with songwriter and former LoveShine member Leslie Flack Miller.

Though LoveShine was not affiliated with any particular denomination, the group held many recognizable faces in our Conference. Kristi Wilkerson, the new director of the Upshur Parish House in Buckhannon, WV met her husband, Curtis Wilkerson, through the organization.

“I met Kristi though Loveshine – so that’s a major takeaway for me of course,” said Curtis, a former leader of the group. “But I know of a number of others who met and married through that group as well. Loveshine was an amazing experience. It taught us all a lot about church, organization, collaboration and creativeness. We had folks who came to Loveshine from other faiths who then converted to Christianity.”

Let’s thank God for the lives touched by this talented group of people who let God’ love shine through them!