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Church holding dedication ceremony
RUMFORD -- The Praise Assembly of God Church, which moved downtown on Dec. 18, will hold a dedication of the church this weekend.
Rev. Justin Thacker said there will be a gospel music and jam night from 4-8 p.m. Saturday, with refreshments.
Then, at 10 a.m. on Sunday, there will be a dedication ceremony, with special guest Dennis Marquardt, the district superintendent of the Northern New England District of the Assembly of God. Lunch will follow.
Regarding the move and the work that has transpired, Thacker noted, "It's a miracle. We're debt free. We pay as we go."
Part of that success has been the volunteer efforts of eight to 10 people, who have put in close to 120 man hours in preparing the 7,800-square-foot space for the dedication.
Since moving here from Rumford Center, Thacker said they've been blessed with extra resources, different people making donations and being able to better meet the needs of people.
"It's (the location) more convenient. Attendance is up by 30 percent. We're seeing a lot of walk-ins, particularly from the Muskie Building," he noted.
Use of the food pantry, located downstairs, has picked up as well. For now, the hours for that resource remain from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday through Thursday.
"Sue (Byam of the GRAMPA food pantry) and I coordinate so people are not double dipping. We're meeting the needs of the people better," said Thacker, adding that the convenient location also means they don't need to deliver as often.
The church holds services at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Sundays, a family night on Wednesdays, and a prayer meeting at 5:30 p.m. Saturdays. A guitarist, drummer and pianist play at services.
Thacker said the nursery is nearing completion and by Easter, there will be a coffee house and library, which will be a quiet place for people to go or where different events will go on.
Thacker noted the church is renting, with a lease to purchase the former department store site at 89 Congress St. The goal is to utilize the upstairs as well for the offices, a Sunday School room, and a teen room.