Kingston church holds last mass, welcomes new congregation
Presbyterian parishioners celebrated the life of a historic church as they held their final service Sunday. The building is expected to be sold to another congregation. YNN's Alexandra Weishaupt reports.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
KINGSTON, N.Y. -- “Our time is up, that’s all..I don’t know why but I’m sorry to see it go," said Joyce Wert, a parishioner.
Joyce Wert had a heavy heart as she entered the First Presbyterian Church of Kingston for the last service as a Presbyterian congregation.
The historic church is intended to be leased and then sold to The Assembly of God Church, a predominantly Hispanic congregation currently renting space in Saugerties.
The pastor said he decided to move the congregation to Kingston to be more accessible to the increasing Hispanic population in the area.
"The Spanish community is growing very big in Kingston. Actually I have a lot of members that come all the way from here to Saugerties. I would say more than half of the church, they come from Kingston," said Pastor Fernando.
Pastor Fernando’s current congregation has about 60 active members, and gets about 120 churchgoers at a Sunday service.
He expects even more once they’re settled in their new home.
“We're very close to broadway and I think a lot of people are going to be walking into our church," said Pastor Fernando.
The Presbyterian Church used to greet a large number of parishioners as well, but over the years that number has dwindled down to less than 15 attendees.
On top of the membership loss, the church has faced financial hardships. Because of this, a decision was made to turn the church over to the Presbyterian of the Hudson Valley back in October with the intention of one day selling the buildings.
“I think by the end of the month it will be done. We want to take over as soon as possible," said Pastor Fernando.
And although the first Presbyterian churchgoers are saddened to see their congregation leave, their spirits remain lifted knowing that the church will remain open, filled with music and prayer.
“I’m glad to know the Assembly of God Church will be here and the church won’t be empty," said Wert.
We’re going to make the difference in Kingston. We’re going to make Kingston change for a good way," said Pastor Fernando.