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Park Ave. UMC Closes

After more than a century, a Cambria County church held it’s final service, before closing its doors for the last time Today.

Nicole Fuschino has reaction from the clergy and congregants.

It was a very emotional morning here at this church in Moxham.

After 116 years of being at this location Sunday Morning was an emotional farewell for parishioners at Park Avenue United Methodist church.

“It’s a sad day, but it’s a day where a lot of people are coming back and reminiscing.”

But he says the reason for closing is not COVID-19.

This date has been on the calendar since December but Today’s final service still wasn’t easy.

“When they looked at me and said you are our pastor, we want you to do the last service, I was completly honored to be able to close out a ministry here that has been so vital and so important in this area for so many years.”

The church was built in 1904 as a part of the Moxham renaissance after the 1889 Johnstown Flood.

The pastor says back then there was a want and a need for larger buildings in the area.

But with Johnstown’s population shrinking and the increasing cost of maintaining the old building.

<BR> <BR> They couldn’t keep it running any longer.

“Crying and reminiscing and laughing, and just expressing all the emotions of the day.”

Lori Sender and her daughter were experiencing all of those emotions since they’ve been coming here their whole lives.

“I won’t say how old I am but I was baptized here. My daughters were both baptized here. My grandmother taught Sunday school for 50 years I think in this room that we’re standing in right now.”

But Lori’s daughter won’t get to continue those same traditions her mom did.

“It’s just weird to think about the fact that I’m gonna be like one of the first people in my family to not get married here, or to have my children baptized in this church. And it’s just really weird to think about that this building that I have so many memories in is gonna stand empty, and it’s really sad to think about.”

The members told me that today was surreal with emotions of both happiness and sadness.

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