WAVERLY — Following a years long process of consolidating Athens, Waverly and Sayre Presbyterian into the Valley United Presbyterian Church, the church celebrated their new wing in Waverly last week with a special service and luncheon.
The process of consolidating the three smaller churches into the one Waverly location has taken some time, but Pastor Rev. Sharan Knoell says it was worth the wait as the church can now pool together resources and make a bigger impact in the community.
“We thought if we combined them together there would be more resources we could pool together to continue to do ministry,” Knoell said after the celebration.
The merger became official in 2014 and shortly after the Athens location was sold. With money acquired in the sale, the church then built the new addition to the existing more than a century old Waverly church. The new addition includes a full kitchen, banquet hall, parking lot, storage space and more.
With the new addition, Knoell says she and the church want it to be of use, not just for churchgoers, but for the community.
“We’re not interested in being a country club church where it’s exclusive and by the members and for the members — that’s not what we’re looking for,” Knoell remarked.
To serve the community, the church hosts AA and AlAnon meetings, fitness classes, knitting groups and more. In September, the church hosted Doug’s Fish Fry, a fried fish food truck, and raised over $700 for the Waverly Family Resource Center.
“We’ve been planted in this community for a reason and it’s to serve this community,” Knoell said.
Another fish fry day will be held on Thursday at the church from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; this time the money raised will be used to purchase chair racks for the banquet hall.