Bakerstown United Methodist hosts Mortgage Burning Service
On Oct. 22, Bakerstown United Methodist Church celebrated the retirement of its debt with a mortgage burning service in the sanctuary.
In August of 1999, the congregation took out a $1,737,424 loan to fund the building of a new sanctuary, fellowship hall and preschool area.
The service was led by current pastors, the Rev. Dennis Swineford and the Rev. Luke Whipple, along with the Rev. Paul Taylor, Pittsburgh district superintendent, guest preacher. Other speakers included David Meuschke, a member of the congregation who served as construction manager on the building project. He reminded the congregation of the dedicated service of the original building committee and of the challenges which the congregation faced in beginning the project.
The Rev. Mark Stewart, who led the congregation from 1995 to 2010, spoke about the spiritual vision that inspired the project and of the importance of maintaining that vision into the future.
The congregation celebrated with a banquet in its fellowship hall where members shared thoughts, stories and memorabilia from past years.
Bakerstown United Methodist Church was founded in 1832 as a Methodist Protestant congregation, one of the predecessor denominations of the United Methodist Church. The original building is currently an annex of Bakerstown Presbyterian Church. In 1958, the congregation moved to its current site at 5760 William Flynn Highway. It has completed three building expansions since that time.