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Center for Hope holds celebration weekend

FRIDAY FESTIVITIES — The children’s bell choir performed during Friday’s dedication of Wintersville United Methodist Church’s Center for Hope. The celebration encompassed events held Friday through Sunday. -- Photo by Warren Scott

WINTERSVILLE — “What a wonderful weekend in every way,” remarked the Rev. Clint Quillen, pastor of Wintersville United Methodist Church at 702 Main St., in response to the three-day celebration weekend held Friday through Sunday at the new Center for Hope.

“The support from our church family, friends and the community was overwhelming,” Quillen noted. “We are so excited about what God has done through his people here and also about what God will do through the Center for Hope for children, youth, families and all people for years to come.”

Visitors stopped by to tour the $3.6-million addition to the church where Friday activities included appetizers and tours, a dedication ceremony and a celebration praise concert. A variety of hands-on mission projects; a sporting skills and drills challenges for all ages in the gymnasium; and a celebration revival with guest speaker Alex McFarland rounded out Saturday events while Sunday marked McFarland as the praise service and traditional service presenter; a Sunday school celebration; and a children’s and youth rally with entertainment, a message by McFarland and pizza and snacks.

Material available to the public included a letter from church building committee members Dr. James W. Cottrell, Robert Gribben and Russ Grimm, noting the center is set to open in a few weeks.

“This state-of-the-art community center is a new addition to Wintersville United Methodist Church, featuring a full-size basketball court, multi-purpose event space with raised stage, commercial kitchen, rentable meeting rooms and more amenities for the community,” it notes. “We want to emphasize that this historic expansion of our church is not only for our congregation — it is for other groups and organizations to use in ways that benefit our community,” the letter reads.

“Since Wintersville United Methodist Church was founded in 1835, we have supported organizations outside our church walls — now, we need help to continue doing so in an even more impactful way.” The Center for Hope will provide space for community fellowship, recreation, new ministries and community outreach initiatives. “Our own church members have already given nearly $1.7 million toward the Center for Hope, but we need community support now more than ever,” the letter notes.

It explains that an opportunity/challenge exists to raise $1 million during a one-year period with a specific need for help to raise $250,000 by May 31.

“Thanks to an exciting, time-sensitive match challenge issued by an anonymous community leader, donations will be matched two to one if an additional $250,000 is raised by May 31. Our goal is to exceed this challenge which will help to greatly reduce financing costs and allow us to put more dollars into serving our community,” the letter continues.

Quillen pointed out that “the grant is a double matching grant, meaning that if we raise $250,000 by May 31, it will be matched two to one, so the $250,000 will become $750,000.”

The letter details a variety of giving opportunities “scalable to meet any level of generosity. Many naming opportunities remain throughout the Center for Hope, including naming the auditorium, basketball court, commercial kitchen and meeting rooms. There also are opportunities to memorialize or honor the lives of loved ones. For organizations needing routine meeting space at the Center for Hope, there are numerous giving opportunities with benefits that can be customized to meet your unique needs.”

Businesses or community leaders who donate significantly will be recognized on a permanent recognition fixture that will be prominently placed near the entrance of the Center for Hope. There are additional recognition opportunities available, and rental packages can be customized for families or community groups wanting to use the new facility. Those interested in making donations can make checks payable to Wintersville United Methodist Church with Center for Hope in the memo line. They can be mailed to the church at 702 Main St., Wintersville OH 43953.

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