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Addition to aid Church in God’s work

By Staff | Jul 8, 2014

CAROL SHETLER/The Luminary A ground breaking ceremony at the Hughesville Friends Church was held Sunday, July 6. With their hands to the shovel are (left to right): Fred Machmer, owner of Tiadaghton Contractors, Incorporated; Geoff Arthur, church presiding clerk; Curt McLuhan, stewardship elder; Pastor Dan Kale; David Daneker, project manager with Tiadaghton Contractors; and Al Derrick, Coordinator trustee.

HUGHESVILLE – On Sunday, July 6, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for an addition to the Fireside room in the social wing at the Hughesville Friends Church.

“It’s not about bricks and mortar, it’s about the ability to reach people for Christ. We dedicate this ground to doing God’s work,” said the Reverend Dan Kale. The expansion referenced by the pastor is needed for social events hosted by both the church and community organizations.

The pastor thanked those persons through the generations who had contributed money, work and heart. Those introduced and recognized from that previous generation were Arthur Marquardt, and the Rev. Richard Gessling and wife Jeanette.

The Gesslings were pastors when the church was built in 1976-7. “I’d driven back and forth the streets of Hughesville looking for a place to build. The former Rishel factory located on a large lot on Third Street had been destroyed by fire. Church representatives approached Mr. Rishel finding him willing to sell,” Gessling said.

The former pastor related that he and the congregation of the 1970’s had faith their numbers would double. There was no room to grow in the land-locked building on East Water Street where they’d gathered since 1904. “When I arrived at today’s service and saw the amount of people, it confirmed God’ s plan and the congregation’s vision had come to pass,” Gessling said.

CAROL SHETLER/The Luminary (Seated): Art Marquardt holds shovel used in both former and current groundbreakings at the Hughesville Friends Church. Standing (left to right): Former pastors Jeanette and the Rev. Richard Gessling, and Jean Marquardt.

All glory was given to God as the 120 in attendance 38 years ago has increased to 200 plus and sometimes reaches 280, according to Matt McGovern, family life pastor at the church.

As a member of the former building committee, Art Marquardt was given opportunity to hold the same shovel used on April 25, 1976 for the groundbreaking of the original church building which was reused on Sunday.

Following a year at the drawing board, Tiadaghton Contractors Incorporated of South Williamsport, will begin work within the week and a completion of the project expected within four months.

The expansion will accommodate future needs by doubling the size of the social wing to encompass a total area of 6400 square feet. The project includes enhancing the area with a new fireplace, an expanded kitchen with commercial equipment, a storage area, new folding partitions for Sunday School rooms and accessible rest rooms. Energy efficient lighting will be installed and hookups for future placement of audio visual and sound system.