New beginnings for Swamp Lutheran

By on October 5, 2011


Tom Showalter (left), Building Committee chairman, and Mark Stunk, contractor, place the cornerstone dedicating the new addition at Swamp Lutheran Evangelical Congregational Church. (Photo by Stan Hall)Tom Showalter (left), Building Committee chairman, and Mark Stunk, contractor, place the cornerstone dedicating the new addition at Swamp Lutheran Evangelical Congregational Church. (Photo by Stan Hall)

The dedication of the new social hall of Swamp Lutheran Evangelical Church was held on Sept. 25 with a service and program attended by 275 church members and guests. The hall replaces the section of the church destroyed by a $2 million fire which occurred during the Feb. 10, 2010 blizzard.

The new 12,000-square foot addition includes offices, Sunday school classrooms, music room, youth room, social hall and commercial kitchen. General contractor for the building, located at 275 Swamp Church Road in West Cocalico Township, was Caldwell, Heckles and Egan.

A cornerstone containing a time capsule was installed and the ceremonial ribbon cutting was held as attendees toured the building. A meal of pulled pork barbecue greeted the attendees.

Speakers for the dedication included: Rev. Dennis Trout, Rev. James Miller, Building Committee Chairman Thomas Showalter, Reinholds Fire Chief Kent Reich and Church Council President Lori Gockley.

The speakers acknowledged the firefighters for working very hard to save the sanctuary during some of the hardest conditions possible. The church is appreciative to the Cocalico Area Lutheran Ministry and other churches in the area which provided gifts, support and use of their buildings during the fire’s aftermath.

It was noted that throughout this process, it truly showed that the building is not the church, but the people are, as the congregation stuck together during this difficult time.

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