WEST CARTHAGE Carthage Mennonite Church, which had been bursting at the seams at its former home at 235 Spring St., Carthage, finally has a new building at 20295 County Route 45, just outside the West Carthage village limits.
Besides offering more space, senior pastor David K. Haldeman said, the new facility will be generally more accessible as well as handicapped-accessible, will have more parking space and will be energy-efficient.
The 4,320-square-foot facility more than doubles the space of the Spring Street church. The sanctuary doubles as an all-purpose room and has no pews, but features chairs that can be rearranged to fit the needs of any activity.
The building also has six classrooms and a nursery with a window adjacent to the worship area. Mr. Haldeman said the main entrance is in the rear of the church and was designed to allow for expansion.
The church was built by Heart of David Construction Inc., Lowville, and interior work was performed by Wendell Moser Construction.
The installation of a kitchen is planned, Mr. Haldeman said.
In 2007, the Rev. Edward J. Roggie, then lead pastor of the church, presented to the Champion Planning Board plans for construction of a larger worship hall. About two years ago, ground was broken for the outer Bridge Street structure.
The first service in the new church will be Sunday. Weekly Sunday school for all ages begins at 10:15 a.m., followed by the worship service at 11:15.
Mr. Haldeman said that with the expanded space, he hopes to attract more worshippers to the church.
Everyone is welcome, he said. We are a friendly church filled with people who love Jesus and want to learn to serve him better.
The Mennonite Church began with Bible studies in the home of Earl and Noreen Zehr and others in 1954.
In December 1964, a James Street home was remodeled and used as a place of worship until January 1975.
The congregation purchased the former Nazarene Church at 235 Spring St. in 1974.
In 1986, Edward Ben Roggie was ordained and assisted senior pastor Earl Zehr. Mr. Haldeman has been in service for 11 years and has been the senior pastor of the church since March 2012.
The church will host an open house and dedication service Nov. 17.