Meadville Tribune

Local News

March 5, 2013

Congregation looks to future ahead of move to new church

CANAL TOWNSHIP — After nearly 100 years at Canal Wesleyan Methodist Church, a small congregation in Venango County has decided to build anew.

Tucked in farm country in Canal Township, which borders Crawford County’s Wayne Township, members of the Canal Wesleyan Methodist congregation are readying for the new church’s dedication, which begins Sunday at 10 a.m.

The congregation will start services on Sunday in the old building, which stands adjacent to the new one at 165 Deckards Run Road, Utica. Halfway through the service, churchgoers will walk next door to the new, 8,200-square-foot church that stands several hundred feet away.

The formal dedication will be Sunday at 2:30 p.m. and will feature services from many of the former pastors. That evening at 7, the congregation will share communion in the new place of worship while Rev. Brian Covert, former pastor of Canal, will deliver the sermon. The church’s current pastor is David Cope.

“It’s going to be a real mixture of sadness and excitement,” volunteer and member of the congregation Kelly Crouch said. “We’ll say goodbye and then look toward the future. Also, we’re going to need a box of tissues. Some of the elderly ones attended the church their whole life.”

Ground was broken in June 2012, and construction on the new church started soon after. Many parishioners would come to watch as each step in the building process was made, while many volunteered time to help the project manager, Tim Troyer, who is also part of the congregation.

The construction process took eight months, with the exterior completed in February. Since then, most final additions inside have been ironed out, though the new pews have yet to arrive. Crouch said that a fire occurred at the warehouse in Oklahoma where the pews were made, and that set back the pews’ original delivery date. The new pews are scheduled to arrive Thursday.

“We’re holding our breath on the pews,” Crouch said. “That’s the last thing.”

The congregation spent the past three years fundraising in order to pay for the new church. At least $300,000 was raised and put into the construction.

“We’re not a huge congregation,” said Crouch, who added that the congregation includes 80 to 100 people. “We had people working hard and pulling out a little extra here and there to see it happened.”

The church’s committee decided to build a new church after repairs were getting to be more than was workable. There was mold in the basement and water would sometimes flow in, among other things. The church’s committee finally decided that it would be more expensive for the 99-year-old building to be renovated than to build a new church.

The congregation’s ever-growing size also factored into the new church’s construction. The number of churchgoers had started to outgrow the old building.

“We went back and forth on what was the right thing to do,” Crouch said. “We all have a lot of good memories in the building, but it came down to common sense.”

Text Only
Local News
Business Marquee
AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide