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Church group buys former YMCA

January 25, 2002

Church group buys former YMCA



By DAN KULIN

dank@herald-mail.com

The former YMCA building at 149 N. Potomac St. in Hagerstown has been sold for $500,000 to Shiloh Ministries of Hagerstown, a religious nonprofit group headed by a Rockville, Md., minister, according to records at the Washington County Courthouse.

Shiloh Ministries plans to use the building as a retreat and conference center, and possibly a boarding high school for students taking English as a second language classes, Kevin Harmon, a Shiloh representative, said Thursday.

A leadership retreat for about 100 members of the Montrose Baptist Church in Rockville is scheduled to be held in the former YMCA on Feb. 22-23, he said.

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Shiloh Ministries is headed by Ray Hope, who also is minister at the 2,000-member Montrose Baptist Church. Harmon is singles minister at the church.

"Montrose Baptist Church will make a lot of use of the facility. We hope to open it up to other churches and church schools," Harmon said. "Eventually we would like to have something there every weekend."

Harmon said that next fall the group might open a 50-student boarding school in the building for high school students taking English as a second language classes.

He said no other uses for the former YMCA building are being considered at this time.

Shiloh Ministries already has begun working on the building.

"We're repainting the whole (inside of the) building and replacing the carpets," said Bill Ardinger, who is in charge of maintenance at the former YMCA building for Shiloh Ministries.

"We're just very excited that it's all worked out," Harmon said. "We know that God's been in this since the beginning."

The sale of the former YMCA building to Shiloh Ministries was announced in December, but the selling price was not disclosed at that time.

The building was for sale because the YMCA in December moved out of the downtown location and into the new $8.4 million Richard A. Henson Family YMCA on Eastern Boulevard.

Hagerstown YMCA Executive Director Michael Flicek said the money from the sale of the old building will be used to pay down the debt on the new building. He would not say how much is owed on the new building.

Flicek said he's pleased with the sale to Shiloh Ministries.

"I think they have a real good idea for the use of the building," he said.

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