Keystone Christian didn't have to look far for new building

| Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, 9:03 p.m.

While members of Keystone Christian Church looked far and wide for a new building to worship in, the right one for the congregation was just a few doors down from where they had been praying.

After being situated in a rented storefront on Export's Washington Avenue — and before that, holding Sunday services at the Carmike Wynnsong Cinema 12 in Delmont — the move to 5875 Washington Avenue is a welcome one.

“We were always looking for an actual building we could purchase, that we could call our home,” said Matthew Mastroianni, a deacon at the church.

Mastroianni said the building is the perfect fit for the church, which includes about 20 adult members and their children. Services draw about 50 worshippers a week.

Other potential sites were either not the right size or didn't have the right layout. The new location, which had most recently housed an IT company and before that was home to The Hub clothing store, offered both.

“It was pretty wild to see it just four doors down,” Mastroianni said, adding that the church's visibility improves “100-fold” with the move, because it's now in a more prominent location of the business district.

The church will celebrate its new location with a Jan. 27 open house, coinciding with its regular Sunday services.

Since mid-December, congregation members have helped to prepare the building and move. Painting and installing a set of double doors comprised the bulk of their work.

“And that's pretty much the major things we've done,” Mastroianni said.

The new building, can accommodate about 100 worshippers. It also features five classrooms, which will be an essential part of Keystone Christian's children's ministry, and a 45-foot by 45-foot room which will be used for services.

The children of the congregation are looking forward to the move, said Mastroianni's mother, Karen Mastroianni, who is involved with the church's children ministry.

“They are just so, so excited, that they have new classrooms and they're going to be in these new classrooms together,” she said. “Our children are a gift from God, and we love working with them.”

Patrick Antonucci, a church deacon, says “trial run” services have been going well in the new building. Members have also been donating time and resources “like crazy,” he said.

He said he anticipates the new building to attract new members and enable the church, which formed close to 10 years ago, to reach out to the community more.

“I think it's really strengthened the church, the core group of people we already have,” he said.

Julie E. Martin is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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