BEVERLY - Since the late 1960s, Beverly Baptist Church has been a staple on Fifth Street, but recently the church's doors have been closed to worshippers.
Dennis Walburn, 72, of Beverly has attended the church since 1968. He said the church is undergoing some improvements, some of which are cosmetic to the building.
"We actually closed the building July 1," he said. "We're undergoing reconstruction, revitalization and then a relaunch from the first of July to October. Fairlawn Baptist Church in Parkersburg has partnered with us (to improve the church)."
Photo by Amanda Nicholson
Dennis Walburn, 72, of Beverly and Charles Newberger, 74, of Lowell stand outside the Beverly Baptist Church. The church is temporarily closed.
The church site is actually composed of two buildings, the home built in the 1800s and the addition, built in 1981, said Walburn, and both will have work done.
"(The sanctuary) will get new lighting, a new sound system and hopefully a new roof," Walburn said.
Longtime church member Charles Newberger, 74, of Lowell said the auditorium housing the sanctuary has been recently renovated.
"It's had new carpet and the seats recovered three to four years ago," he said. "It's all new in here except for the walls."
Not only will the church get a facelift, so will the congregation. Walburn said Fairlawn Baptist is planning on working alongside Beverly Baptist to bring in new members, young and old.
The church building was constructed in the 1800s and served as a residence before the church was formed, Walburn said.
"(The church) was actually launched when construction workers came in, it was then Ohio Power (now AEP)," he said. "It started with just a few."
Newberger said there were a lot of church members when the church building was ready.
"There were 56 chartered members in 1968," he said. "The church started in 1964 with eight individuals. They met at the Waterford Township house on Fourth Street in Beverly."
Walburn said the pastor of the church originally stayed in the upstairs, while the lower two levels were used for church activities and worship.
Currently, there are church offices in the basement and classrooms on the main level and upper story.
Walburn said despite the church closing, services are still taking place in homes around the neighborhood.
"Hopefully (we'll be open) the first Sunday in October," he said. "We're scared and we're excited...That's our goal; to relaunch and reopen the building and start as Fairlawn at Beverly Baptist Church.
To find a location for services visit fairlawnbeverly.com or Fairlawn at Beverly's Facebook page, or call Fairlawn Baptist Church at 304-863-6782.