MORRISTOWN The historic United Methodist Church, 504 Gouverneur St., could be up for sale later this month.
Following the churchs official closure on Sunday, the Northern Flow District Board of Trustees will assume ownership and oversee its sale.
The Rev. David C. Piatt, pastor, announced the churchs closing July 29. He cited increased financial obligations and decreased membership as the reason.
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 Methodist churches closing is relatively rare in the district.
I have been in this position for three years and this is the first time that a church in our district has closed, she said.
The district board will determine when the church will be officially offered for sale, Rev. Sweet said. Any proceeds will 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.