140-year-old western PA church closes

Written by The Associated Press | Jan 4, 2014 4:17 PM
church pews

(Mineral Point) -- A 140-year-old southwestern Pennsylvania church that survived two historic floods is no longer able to weather dwindling membership.

The United Methodist Church in Mineral Point held its last service this week.

The church was swept off its foundation during the 1889 flood that nearly destroyed Johnstown, a few miles downriver, and survived another catastrophic flood in 1936. The church's bell was recovered several miles downriver in East Conemaugh after the 1889 flood and will be relocated to the Johnstown Flood National Memorial now that the church is closing. The church also rebuilt after a fire destroyed its sanctuary in 1945.

The church's congregation is merging with Wesley Chapel Methodist Church, about two miles away.

Church leaders say its small membership and resulting financial problems forced the move.

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