Reash Community Church

Reash Community Church broke ground this month on a new 7,968-square-foot fully handicapped accessible building in Greenwood Township. Pictured are (from left) Jesse Arnett, Jeff Boehm, Sue Glancy, Christopher Philips, Desiree Vaughn and Pastor Randy Keeling. Desiree was selected to represent her late husband, Ralph, who spent numerous hours clearing the property.

GREENWOOD TOWNSHIP — About a year from now Reash Community Church plans to have a new, larger church home to replace one that's about 150 years old.

The nondenominational church broke ground earlier this month on a new 7,968-square-foot fully handicapped accessible building on an 18.5-acre lot in Greenwood Township.

The total project is estimated around $1.2 million, according to Randy Keeling, pastor of the church.

The current church dates from the 1870s with a small sanctuary holding less than 100 people, Keeling said. 

The church has grown from about 16 members in 2009 to about 105 today, Keeling said.

"We'll be able to hold up to 220 in the new sanctuary," Keeling said. "There are four large classrooms that will have foldable walls so they can double as a fellowship hall with kitchen facilities. It's designed so the rooms have multiple uses."

Keeling said during the last eight years, the congregation acquired the new property and completed necessary infrastructure such as water, septic and storm water drainage systems and parking facilities on the site. 

That's all set the stage for actual construction of the new building, he said. 

"Eight years ago, the congregation started a building fund for a new facility and we've raised about $700,000 since then," Keeling said. The congregation has spent about $500,000 of the total toward the land acquisition and infrastructure work.

Hostetler Construction of Cochranton is the contractor for the project.

Construction of the building is planned to begin in the coming weeks, Keeling said.

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at kgushard@meadvilletribune.com.

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