Congregations move in and out of church building

PAT FRIDGEN
Randy Mosher, left, pastor of Calvary Chapel Cumberland Valley, handed over the keys of the church at 145 E. Baltimore St., to Dave and Cathy Pence, pastors of The New Life Center, after a joint service Feb. 21. Both congregations started by meeting at the Rescue Hose Company. CCCV rented the church building from 2002 to 2010. They just relocated to Hagerstown and TLC moved into the vacated space.

Same story, different year.

Two Greencastle churches followed similar paths to holding services at 145 E. Baltimore St. When the first moved out for larger quarters, the second moved in to a permanent home of its own.

The congregation of Calvary Chapel Cumberland Valley recently purchased another vacant church at 12915 Pinehill Drive in Hagerstown. They conducted a joint worship service with the members of The Life Center on Feb. 21, the former group saying goodbye and the latter group saying hello to the facility.

Both fellowships started by meeting at the Rescue Hose Center.

History

Pastor Randy Mosher retired from the Army in 1999 and settled in Chambersburg. He began a Sunday night Bible study in Greencastle two years later. He and his wife Cindy started small, with 10 people at the first meeting on a Sunday night at the RHC. By fall attendance was a consistent 25. In November 2001 the ordained pastor began Sunday morning services.

"From that point on we grew steadily," he said.

His wife heard that the tenants on Baltimore Street were leaving, but they could not find out who owned the building. The following March CCCV was about to settle on a property in Chambersburg when Mosher had second thoughts. "If the Lord opened doors for us in Greencastle, maybe we shouldn't be so quick to leave," he thought.

The fellowship prayed as a group. The next day the out-of-state owner of the building, Matthew Gagnon, called Mosher. Within a month the folks were in at a price they could afford.

Eight years later Mosher accepted another prompting. "It's time. We feel clearly called to Hagerstown now. We're leaving Greencastle but this is not farewell to Greencastle. We'll continue to minister here."

The church draws from the three-state area. The new site features a 6,000 square foot building on 400 acres. He will seek to continue CCCV's mission. "We've tried to be a church that gives, because Jesus is free."

Ditto

David Pence retired from the Air Force in 1996. He and his wife Cathy, an evangelist, led a home group for years, then moved the meetings to their business, Pure and Simple Cafe. The first session for The Life Center in September 2006 was attended by 10 people. When it grew to 42, they decided to move to the RHC.

Eventually news about Calvary got out.

"The word on the street was, this church was becoming available," said David. He contacted Mosher and then Gagnon.

The fellowship now has up to 60 people on a Sunday. Cathy said the members have been generous, giving $30,000 for benevolences. "We've done some tremendous work for such a little core."

The Pences focus on the body, soul and spirit. "It's a servant-led ministry," Cathy said. "We are centered in Christ and teach people it's what you give."

The two couples are grateful for the roots they established at the firehall and for Gagnon being a pleasant landlord. They are excited to enter the doors that have opened to the future. Calvary is taking its chairs and sign. New Life has its own on order.