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Faith congregation finds new home in Williamsport

Parishoners amd leaders happy about new place of worship on Lappans Road

Parishoners amd leaders happy about new place of worship on Lappans Road

March 10, 2003|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

Could it have been a sign?

When 2 feet of snow fell in Washington County on the Sunday that Pastor John Miller and the congregation of Faith Christian Fellowship were to meet for the first time in their new church building, they were a little worried.

"It was Feb. 16 and we had to cancel our very first Sunday," Miller said.

But it didn't take long for Miller to realize that it was a sign that the right decision was made to buy the former Agape Harvester Church building at 16726 Lappans Road.

"Without even being asked, many of our members came out to shovel snow in hopes that we would be able to have services that day," Miller said. "It was amazing."

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The new home for Faith Christian Fellowship is on a 15-acre site with a long, winding driveway that leads up to the back of the building. Getting that entire area cleared, along with the parking lot, was accomplished days later.

This past Sunday, the church hosted its third service at the new location and Miller said the existing parking lot has been full every week. Services are at 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Miller, his wife, Melissa, and a few faithfuls brought Faith Christian Fellowship to Washington County in mid- 1997.

"We met a group of people who were having Bible studies and they asked me to speak," Miller recalled. He knew then that he wanted to be part of this new church.

From those humble beginnings, Faith Christian Fellowship was born. The congregation, which started with five families, now numbers between 200 and 225 regular members.

Meeting in a living room at first, the group then moved to the basement of another home and on to a former dance hall before settling into the former Ramada Inn on Dual Highway.

A little church building on Artizan Street in Williamsport served as home base for about four years but it became apparent the congregation was still growing and the building wasn't.

A six-month prayerful struggle began last year.

"We were balancing faith and the figures at the same time," Miller said. "Eventually you have to get out of the boat and walk on the water. But it's best if the water can hold you."

Miller said the church's message is simple - a balance of truth, mercy and grace through prayer.

Taking that a step further, Melissa Miller said people don't feel judged at Faith Christian Fellowship.

"People are hurting and they need to feel that they belong," she said.

Church member Gene Springer said he could no longer go to a church that didn't preach the truth of the Bible. "I have been in several other churches during my life, heard all about God and Jesus, but I didn't belong to Jesus," Springer said.

Fortunately, Springer said, he realized that like many people, he was looking for more than religion.

"It's about Jesus and the love of God living in his people. That's what brought me to Faith Christian Fellowship," Springer said

He is not alone.

"We are Christ-centered here and we preach the Bible," Miller said. "Everyone who wants to hear about Jesus is welcome here."

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