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Church dedicated near Greencastle

February 05, 2001

Church dedicated near Greencastle



By STACEY DANZUSO / Staff Writer, Chambersburg

photo: KEVIN G. GILBERT / staff photographer

Trinity Lutheran ChurchGREENCASTLE, Pa. - About 160 members of Trinity Lutheran Church gathered in the warmth of their new church Sunday, much different from their last ceremony - a chilly groundbreaking in April.

The church finally began holding services in its new 6,000 square-foot church Jan. 7, but the official dedication was Sunday afternoon.

Sunday's hour-and-a-half service included the dedication of the baptismal fount and the pulpit, as well as the buildings and the furnishings.

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"There is a real wonderful spirit and a lot of joy in being able to realize the dream," the Rev. William DeHaas said.

Bishop Guy Edmiston and the Rev. Jack Hoffman helped celebrate the dedication, and former pastor, the Rev. LaDonna Thomas, traveled from York, Pa., to give the sermon.

The congregation of about 150 members had worshiped in a 70-year-old home at 145 E. Baltimore St. in Greencastle until December 1999.

During the interim, the congregation met in Rescue Hose Co. No. 1's firehouse.

Since the new church was completed, attendance has improved dramatically, said DeHaas, who added his goal now is for the church to reach out into the growing community.

Sitting on 11 acres, the church is buffered from the surrounding Shadow Creek Meadows, a residential development still under construction.

At 6,184 square feet, the new church isn't much larger than the former one on East Baltimore Street, but the space is much more functional, DeHaas said.

"We didn't gain significant square-footage, but we had a lot of steps before," he said, which meant it wasn't handicapped-accessible.

The sanctuary of the old church provided adequate worship space for the congregation, but the building left no room for growth or expansion of church programs.

There are a few tasks still to be completed, including the exterior landscaping and a church sign.

A community prayer garden will also be constructed this spring.

So far, a wooden cross is set behind the church, but DeHaas envisions a garden for use by the entire community for prayer and meditation.

The new church is a frame construction with brick veneer and features a sanctuary, offices and classroom space.

Trinity Lutheran formed in 1927 as a breakaway group from Evangelical Lutheran Church on North Washington Street, one of the community's oldest congregations.

Members of Trinity Lutheran decided in 1997 that their East Baltimore Street church, build in 1928, could no longer serve their needs. About 65 percent of the church members live outside the borough of Greencastle, the basement did not lend itself to classroom use and the building was not handicapped-accessible.

The church sold its old building to a Baltimore, Md., man last year for $160,000, who said he planned to turn it into a vacation home for his family.

The church now owns the 11 acres off Jason Drive, near a new residential development off Williamsport Pike south of Greencastle.

Rockwell Construction in Mercersburg, Pa., was the general contractor of the $500,000 project.

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