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Church opens new site in Lordstown

LORDSTOWN — Congregation members of Harvest Point Church met for the first time at their new location July 19 at the former United Auto Workers Hall off Salt Springs Road.

The church, which previously met in a storefront in a plaza off Tod Avenue, was looking for a new site because of growing membership. It bought the former UAW building earlier this year.

Liz Henle, an elder of the congregation, said work was done to prepare the building for the church, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, the members could not get together until mid-July.

“That was our first time here because of the safety precautions,” Henle said.

Interim Pastor Garry Bates said services have been held via Zoom videoconference and will continue to be done that way for people who do not feel comfortable meeting in person. Those who want can attend 10 a.m. Sunday mornings.

“We have always wanted our own facility. We were going to purchase 25 acres off (state) Route 45 and build a church there, but this location became available. We were able to get this building for a lot less than what it would have cost us building a church at the other site,” Henle said.

The church purchased six acres of the 42 acres up for sale on Salt Springs Road by United Auto Workers Local 1112 for $400,000.

Harvest Point had worshipped at 6100 Tod Ave., the Lordstown Plaza strip mall that also contains a sub shop and pizza parlor, for several years, but had outgrown the space and actively was looking for larger accommodations. Often 60 people are in attendance, she said.

“We could not do as much outreach at that location that we would have wanted to. We did hold events such as a luau at the park when we were there,” Henle said.

Bates said the new location has a large pavilion and play area outside as well as a large room inside for the worship service.

“There was limited room to grow at the other location. This has the space we need,” he said.

He said the congregation came to Lordstown from the Newton Falls Church of God 19 years ago with a vision of starting a new church.

“We are glad to move in here and get the feel of the new location,” Henle said, noting some painting work and remodeling was done.

Henle said an official ribbon-cutting will be held when the pandemic situation changes.

Harvest Point worked with Platz Realty and FNB bank to buy and finance its new sanctuary. The former union hall at 2121 Salt Springs Road was built in 1975.

The remaining 35 acres remain for sale. It is zoned industrial with access to a nearby railroad.

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