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Welcome to Welch!


I'm so happy you stopped by to learn about the beautiful county seat of McDowell County, WV.  We are located at the forks of Tug River and Elkhorn Creek and we have 1,715 proud West Virginians residing in our beautiful town. I am honored to serve as the current Mayor.


While you may think of Welch as primarily as West Virginia coal country, our city is a historic community in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. Outdoor recreation and the thrills of ATV riding are as abundant as the peace and quiet.  Our safe streets and growing businesses are an excellent place for families to thrive. Welch's history is diverse and storied. Our downtown is on the National Register of Historic Places and Welch is recognized nationally for several "firsts" in American history. 


We have some interesting "firsts" in our local history. The first public children's playground in West Virginia was built in Welch in 1913. In 1923, we built the first memorial building in the United States dedicated to the memory of WWI Veterans. Welch resident, Minnie Buckingham Harper, became the first African American female legislator in the country. Welch also boasts the first municipally owned parking garage in the United States and has been visited by three US Presidents. In addition to a myriad of fascinating history, Welch now has a thriving economy, significant recreational tourism, and the drive to continue growing! Our notable sons and daughters include talk show host, Steve Harvey, NFL player and commentator Alex Hawkins, and author, Jeannette Walls. 


Welch prides itself on it's rich heritage, diverse community and our commitment to the future.  We are more connected than ever with excellent roads, the internet and many excellent educational opportunities in West Virginia for our young people. On behalf of our citizens, we thank you for stopping by our virtual city information center and I hope to meet you soon in the City of Welch!

All my best, 

Harold McBride, Sr.

Mayor Harold McBride, Sr.

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Welch News

Small-town newspapers offer so much more than just news and information. Small town journalism celebrates the high school sports victories, serve as a social lives of their citizens, serve as a record of public meetings and announce community events. The Welch News can be reached on Facebook, online, or by calling ​(304)-436-3144.

Follow the City of Welch on Facebook

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City of Welch Swears in Police Chief - Oct 19, 2021 


Former Assistant Police Chief Timothy Vineyard is now the Chief of Police Chief. Vineyard said he hopes to get a lot done while working with the city of Welch. 

Mayor Harold McBride said he couldn't be happier.

"Great day for Welch, I think, not only is he a terrific police officer, Tim is also a gentleman," he said. "That says a lot. I've watched him for years.

"I lived here all my life, and I've watched him, and I watched how he handles himself, and it's first class."

And so far -- according to McBride -- the police department is going in the right direction.

"Tim has got the streets cleaned-up to where folks can get out and walk, they feel comfortable, they feel safe," he said. "It's working really well, he takes [his job] very serious, protect and serve."

Which, in turn should help the City Of Welch bring in more residents and tourists to the area.

Vineyard said reaching the youth is what's important to him, his focus is on trying to recruit a younger generation of officers, right now he wants to change the mindset and make law enforcement a career to be proud of.

Vineyard added he and other officers at the police department are working with city officials to help boost tourism and keep Welch clean.

Read full story here.


The City of Welch does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and customers.




Harold McBride, Sr.

Welch City Council

City Council holds their regular monthly meeting the first Monday of each month at 4:00 pm in the Welch City Hall.


Council Members

Mike Day

Steve Ford

Kathy Gentry

​Jim Spence

William Spencer

City of Welch official meetings comply with the

West Virginia Open Government Meetings Act



If you are experiencing an emergency, call 911 immediately!

Welch City Police Department

  • (304)-436-3112

  • 88 Howard Street, Welch, WV

  • Chief of Police, Tim Vineyard

Welch Fire Department



The City of Welch operates a water & sanitation department and provides these services to residents.  The department is governed by a board of directors comprised of citizens who are appointed to serve.  Residents interested in serving on these utility boards should contact City Hall for more information and nomination procedures. 

Welch Gas Cooperative Welch Gas Cooperative provides natural gas services

Appalachian Power  - Electric Utility serving Welch, WV and McDowell Co.

Welch Water Board

This board is responsible for the supervision and control of the maintenance of the waterworks system in its entirety. They meet the last Wednesday of each month at 2 pm.

Water Board Members 

  • Mayor Harold McBride, Sr., Chairman​

  • Ashby Lynch

  • Claudia Banner

  • David Falin

Welch Sanitary Board

The Sanitary Board is responsible for the administration, operation and maintenance of all works for the collection, treatment and disposal of sewage. They meet the last Wednesday of each month at 2:30 pm.

Welch Sanitary Board Members

  • Mayor Harold McBride, Sr., Chairman

  • Ashby Lynch

  • Frank Cooley




The City of Welch has no affiliation with any church.  We list these groups as a public service to the community. To have your local church listed, please contact city hall.  We cannot verify the accuracy of any information below.  

Churches in Welch

  • Church of Christ (304) 436-6388

  • First Baptist Church (304) 436-3336

  • Welch Church of God (304) 436-2556

  • Central Avenue Church of God (304) 436-2556

  • Saint Peter Parish (304) 436-2014

  • Court Street United Methodist Church (304) 436-4330

  • Saint James Baptist Church (304) 436-4613

  • Havaco Temple Baptist Church (304) 436-3941

  • Coalwood Pentecostal Holiness Church (304) 297-2416

  • Smyrna Seventh-Day Sabbath (304) 732-9204

  • Welch First United Methodist (304) 436-4330