By Gary Lloyd
Two Trussville Presbyterian churches have merged.
Eastminster Presbyterian Church on U.S. Highway 11 and Grace Presbyterian Church on Deerfoot Parkway began worshipping at Grace’s location May 19, a “significant milestone in our two-year effort towards congregational merger,” according to the Eastminster website.
Eastminster Presbyterian Church Administrator Connie Logan, also a musician, said Sunday morning worships will continue at Grace Presbyterian, as will choir practices on Wednesdays. Eastminster will be used for youth programs, Zumba workouts, Friday Night Live, Cub and Boy Scouts, Bible studies and AA meetings, among other events, Logan said.
The merger came about in part due to churches in general having a hard time these days with offerings down. The Eastminster congregation is largely made up of older people and teenagers, while Grace’s congregation is made up of more young adults. The combination makes for a “good mix,” Logan said.
Grace Presbyterian has a “giant” and “beautiful” worship facility, while Eastminster has a gymnasium, Logan said.
“It just seemed like a good fit,” Logan said, noting that the two churches are combining to make “one strong church.”
Logan said Eastminster’s daycare program “probably won’t” continue into the future because the church is unsure if it will sell its property or not. She said that if the daycare were to operate this fall, it would be on a month-to-month basis. She said a daycare program would not be offered this fall unless the church is “absolutely sure” it can finish the next school year in the same building. Grace Presbyterian does have a daycare facility, Logan said.
Eastminster has served the city of Trussville for the last 22 years. At a May 5 worship and communion service, Jon Scholl rang the bell outside the church 22 times to honor the 22 years of Eastminster’s service in Trussville.
Logan said Eastminster has been receiving inquiries about the church property.
“It’s a very usable piece of commercial property,” she said. “We have a lot of folks who are interested in it.”
In the future, Logan said, possibly selling the Eastminster property could mean an additional campus between the Eastminster building and Grace Presbyterian.
Logan said the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. is in the process of developing a common name for the combined church. According to Eastminster’s May 8 newsletter, a Naming Committee is made up of Scholl, Rosemary Holcomb, Laura Reddick-Reichert and Edwin Swartz Sr. The committee will narrow the field to three or so names to present to the congregation for a vote, the newsletter says.
Logan said an interim pastor will be brought in for the combined congregation.
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.