Century-old Goshen church to close Palm Sunday

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The Goshen United Methodist Church will close its doors after 104 years. The Goshen United Methodist Church will close its doors after 104 years. GOSHEN – After 104 years, the Goshen United Methodist Church will close its doors for the final time on Palm Sunday, April 13, the pastor said recently, citing both a lack of funds for maintenance and a low membership as the reasons behind the closure.

“We have an average Sunday attendance of 11,” said Rev. Gerri Ridings. “The membership voted to cease operations because the church needs a lot of repair, and the congregation just doesn’t have the funds to do that.”

The congregation of the church decided at a meeting on March 30 to accept a recommendation from the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference trustees to shutter the church.

Rev. Paul Maliel, Cape Atlantic District superintendent, said the church and its adjoining cemetery will be cared for by the conference. The trustees will manage the property, he said.

“It’s premature to decide what will be done with the property,” he said. Maliel confirmed that the last service is on Palm Sunday, and that after that, management of the church would be transferred to the conference.

“The trustees will try to find another purpose for the building,” Ridings said. “The congregation has asked that another faith community take over the church.”

Ridings, who is also the pastor of the nearby Green Creek United Methodist Church, said some of the members of the Goshen church will transfer to Green Creek.

Ridings said that the Goshen church was built in 1910. An earlier church in the same spot was destroyed by fire in the early 1900s, she said.

The Greater New Jersey Annual Conference trustees will manage both the church and the cemetery. The Greater New Jersey Annual Conference trustees will manage both the church and the cemetery.

 


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