Wintersville church addition plus for area

Wintersville United Methodist Church has served the residents of the village and the surrounding areas for more than 180 years.

Members of the church showed their commitment to the community remains strong on Oct. 21 when ground was broken for the Center of Hope.

A $3.6 million addition, the center has been designed as a catalyst for community outreach by the church and its congregation, the Rev. Clint Quillen, the church’s pastor, has said. When completed next fall, the addition will add a fresh look to the church, which has stood at the corner of Main Street and Fernwood Road for more than 150 years.

The two-story, 12,500-square-foot structure will be attached to the west side of the church. It will include a stage and fellowship area that can seat more than 300 people, a commercial-style kitchen and pantry; a basketball court that will be housed in a separate multi-purpose gym and activity area; a music room; front and rear entries; larger restrooms; and an elevator.

A large portion of the money for the project is coming from pledges made by church members, with additional funding coming from supporters in the community as well as grants.

Quillen has explained that the project is more than a building — it’s a chance to better help and serve the community, and an opportunity to expand outreach that includes efforts with the Wintersville Good Neighbors, Relay for Life, Urban Mission Ministries, Special Olympics, the American Red Cross, Operation Christmas and numerous other charitable organizations. Its community-focused Vacation Bible School serves young people from across the region.

The center will offer the church and it members the chance to step forward and become even more active in the community and move the congregation to work to help others, showing there is hope through Christian ministry, Quillen explained while discussing the addition.

It’s a noble message, and Quillen and members of church deserve to be commended for seeking new ways to share it.