Saturday marked a night of fellowship, music and good food as Providence United Methodist Church in Patrick Springs gathered to celebrate paying off the mortgage on its educational wing. The night was capped with the burning of the bank note.
Providence U.M.C. started in the 1820s, meeting in a log hut. As the church grew, it moved to the current location, eventually seeing the need for the current educational wing.
Providence U.M.C. built the educational wing to meet the needs of a growing church. Completed in 2007, the space serves many purposes for the church and the community, such as the meeting place for a Girl Scout troop. It features a large room on the ground floor for meetings, gatherings and other functions. Upstairs there are several classrooms, including a nursery for their youngest members and guests.
The note-burning gathering was held in a large hall in the educational wing, where Pastor Keith Vernon spoke of the possibilities now open for the church and its congregation to do more in the church and in the greater community.
He also spoke of “all the people who saw the vision of the new wing,” and “helped bring it to fruition.”
Lynne Hylton, whose family has been members for multiple generations, was emotional when speaking of “all the hard work and dedication” it took to reach this point, including those who are no longer with us. Her father, Jimmy East, was a board member who helped develop the plans for the wing and was there for the groundbreaking in 2006.
While the wing has had a positive impact on the church, the debt placed restrictions on what the church could do, often not feeling financially ready to make any moves. Without the debt, the church is looking forward to the possibilities the financial freedom will allow.
Member Cathy Natoli, when talking about all the hard work it took to reach this day, said how nice it will be to “catch our breath a little bit.”
Longtime member Mary Scott cited “mission opportunities and being able to help in the community,” as well as how future generations in the church and the community will benefit from the wing and its many uses.
The evening culminated with those in attendance moving to the courtyard to watch the burning of the bank note, applause filling the air as the pages turned to ash.
Norman Biggs summed up the evening, and the journey to it. “How did we get to this day? All the church working together. God has blessed us.”