Abba's House founders open arms to Saxonburg
Now that their children are grown, Brian and Providence Hartle are offering “mom and dad's hospitality” to the entire community.
The Saxonburg couple's vision for the recently opened Abba's House on West Main Street is that it will be a community gathering space; a place of fellowship and comfort for anyone in the borough and surrounding communities.
“We're just going to be hospitable,” said Brian Hartle.
The Hartles, both 59, hope that Abba's House will be somewhere people can relax, much like a child returns to mom and dad's house and immediately makes himself at home.
Abba means Daddy in Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke, according to scripture.
They originally intended to call it My Father's House, but that nonprofit name was already taken.
St. Luke Evangelical Lutheran Church in Saxonburg owns the building and is a ministry partner.
The Hartles are members of St. Joseph Church in Winfield and, by chance, were talking with the Rev. Roger Keller, pastor of St. Luke, after a Lenten service there when Keller mentioned they had a building available.
The effort grew from there.
“As we walked through, each room just fit for what we were talking about,” Brian Hartle said.
He had a similar idea about 15 years ago to renovate a Victorian house in Saxonburg, but with four kids still at home, the time wasn't right.
Then, about three years ago, he felt like God put the initiative in his heart again.
Providence Hartle said she probably still would have nixed the idea, but that morning she attended a prayer service and a woman praying with her turned to her and said “Do not fear; be at peace.”
“I was kind of puzzled. I was like, what was that about?” she said. “Then, that very evening, (Brian) came to me and said, what about My Father's House? I felt like that was God preparing me to be open.”
The Hartles extensively renovated the home originally built by Bob Sarver, who owned the Robert Lee Sarver jewelry store next door.
They got started with some of their retirement money and say they have been blessed with many contractors who did work for the cost of the supplies or donated materials.
About 50 volunteers worked more than 1,300 hours to renovate the space, contributing at least $100,000 in purchases and donations, the Hartles said.
Abba's House held a grand opening on June 27.
The space has a welcoming feel, with high wooded ceilings and a fireplace and two comfy couches in the living room area. It has a full kitchen and an adjacent dining room.
Other rooms have a pool table, Foosball, ping-pong and Wii.
Snacks and drinks are free, just like at mom and dad's.
The Hartles said they're open to ideas for what activities or programs people want to have there. It could be anything from a Bible study to a painting class.
They're also hoping it will give them opportunities to refer people in need to churches or services in the area.
“If we could find a way to plug people into churches and meet their needs, that's an avenue to do that,” said Rob Peters of Winfield, a member of Abba's House's board of directors and owner of Peters Refrigeration Heating & Cooling, which donated the labor to install the air conditioning system. “It doesn't matter what church it is.”
Whether the Hartles' dream will succeed is a matter of faith, they said. They hope to be in the space for at least five years.
The community is pulling for them.
“If we don't have faith and step out and try it, then how do we know?” Peters said.
Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Man found dead in Lower Burrell
- Springdale family lifted ‘from embers to embrace’
- Allegheny Valley board candidates hold Colfax Elementary fate
- Drainage problems believed root of Ridge Road collapse in Harmar
- Indiana Township couple face illegal prescription charges
- Long-awaited bridge expected to be completed in June
- Filming for Cinemax TV series to divert traffic in Allegheny Township
- FirstEnergy halfway into 72-day, $60 million upgrade of Springdale facility
- Driver allegedly disrupts fire scene in Kiski Township
- State’s homeless rate begins to decrease
- Leechburg man held for trial in fatal wreck