Cumberland Times-News

Local News

June 17, 2010

City church to close doors after more than 100 years

Congregation to vote on consolidation Monday

CUMBERLAND — After being consecrated more than 100 years ago, Mapleside United Methodist Church may finally be forced to close its doors after merging with another church due to financial issues.

According to a history of the church compiled by trustee Bette Reynolds, the Mapleside congregation began in 1905 and the chuch building was consecrated in 1906.

“The first church was built on the corner of Maple Street and First Street,” said Reynolds. “It was financed by Rev. William A. Melvin and built by the families that were involved in the church. Hughes Walden Burke gave them the lot for the church and donated a lot on Gleason Street for the parsonage. The fourth generation of descendants are still members of the church.”

A church study group voted in May to discontinue Mapleside, though the vote was not unanimous. The exact vote count was kept confidential.

“Our denomination allows for a study to be done of any church to determine its viability,” said Mapleside Pastor Michael Leedom, who added that the criteria that led Mapleside to be considered unviable included financial problems.

“They struggled to pay what’s needed to have even a part-time minister,” said Leedom. “They were in no financial position to continue because they weren’t going to meet those financial challenges.”

Despite the determination by the study group no final decision has yet been made. Churchgoers at Mapleside will be able to vote Monday to determine what they’ll do. If they decide to merge, the fate of the church building itself will be up to the United Methodist Church’s District Committee on Building and Location, which may or may not decide to close it down.

The most likely candidate for a merge is Emmanuel Bethel United Methodist Church.

Leedom said that this is not the first time that a church in the Cumberland area has had to merge with another to remain in existence.

“New Covenant United Methodist Church, for instance, is the result of a merge between Kingsley, Grace and First United Methodist,” said Leedom. “These churches were no longer viable to maintain ministries or physical structure.”

Leedom added that some members of the congregation are not happy with the possibility of merging.

“I understand they’re upset, but this is not the first church to go through this process,” said Leedom. “It happens all the time.”

Leedom said that the last Sunday at Mapleside will include a celebration of ministry that will include bringing symbols of faith like baptismal water to Emmanuel Bethel, transferring the definition of ministry as a church to a new location.

“Anytime people have memories attached to a physical building, people have difficulty leaving that physical structure.” added Leedom. “But the church isn’t the building, it’s the people.”

Cory Galliher can be reached at cgalliher@times-news.com.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Easter experience Easter experience

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Game on: City interested in baseball study

    After it looked like the objection of a couple of constituents to a study on the feasibility of bringing a minor league baseball team to the area may have torpedoed the thought, county commissioners and some city officials sounded ready to sing a chorus of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” on Thursday.

    April 18, 2014

  • DEREK SHEELY Charges against helmet maker stand in case of Frostburg player’s death

    A Montgomery County judge this week declined to dismiss charges against a helmet manufacturer in a case brought by the parents of a Frostburg State University football player who died of head injuries in August 2011 following four straight days of heavy contact drills in practice.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • GAYLE MANCHIN W.Va. BOE president speaks on issues at WVSDB

    West Virginia Board of Education President Gayle Manchin responded to issues at the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind during an interview with the Times-News Wednesday morning.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • REGINALD REDMAN Moorefield man jailed on felony drug count

    A Moorefield man was arrested on various charges Thursday, including a felony drug offense for possession of amphetamines, according to the Keyser Police Department.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blossoming optimism Blossoming optimism

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds

    After you drive Alexander and Furnace streets then navigate a couple of switchbacks on Cemetery Road, you’d figure there would be no more uphill.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Proposed county budget holds most agencies flat

    After taking into account an income tax shortfall, Allegany County Finance Director Jason Bennett said he’ll propose a budget that holds most outside agencies to flat funding and funds the Board of Education at what county officials say are maintenence of effort levels for 2015.

    April 17, 2014

  • RYAN WOLF Wolf named 2014-15 Garrett Teacher of the Year

    Southern Garrett High School teacher Ryan Wolf has been named the 2014-15 Garrett County Teacher of the Year.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock

    While giving a civics lesson at Frostburg State University on Thursday, U.S. Rep. John Delaney, congressman from Maryland’s sixth district, told students that the polarization in Congress is due primarily to redistricting and a poorly designed Congressional schedule.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Facebook
Must Read
News related video
Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military