MORRISTOWN – The historic United Methodist Church, 504 Gouverneur St., could be up for sale later this month.
Following its official closure on Sunday, the churchs ownership will be assumed by the Northern Flow District Board of Trustees, who will oversee the sale of the church.
The Rev. David C. Piatt, pastor, announced the churchs closing July 29. He cited increased financial obligations and decreased membership.
Parishioners will have their choice of attending Galilee United Methodist Church, located on County Route 6 five miles outside of Ogdensburg, the United Methodist Church of Ogdensburg, 627 Caroline St., or the DePeyster United Methodist Church, Rev. Piatt said.
The Rev. Rebekah B. Sweet supervises 85 churches from Chateaugay to Pulaski, including Morristown, as part of the Northern Flow District of the Upper New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. She said closing of Methodist churches is relatively rare in the district.
I have been in this position for three years, and this is the first time that a church that in our district has closed, she said.
When the church will be officially offered for sale will be determined by the districts board, Rev. Sweet said. Any proceeds from the sale of the church would go toward the startup of new churches, she said.
[Parishioners] seemed very pleased any proceeds from the sale of their building would help other churches that are just starting up, Rev. Sweet said. This has become a very positive thing for the community.
The building, initially a Presbyterian church, was built 175 years ago. It merged with a Methodist congregation into a federated Christian Church in 1952 and became the United Methodist Church of Morristown in 1967. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Sites in 1982.
Every time we take a look at a churchs ministry we know that we are standing on the faithful lives that have served in that church for generations, Rev. Sweet said. In the midst of that, we are just so grateful for the generations that have served the Morristown Methodist Church faithfully and well for many years. Parishioners recognize this turning point as an opportunity. Sometimes. God calls us in new directions.
A celebration of the churchs 175-year ministry will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday. The service will mark the churchs official closure.