Methodists in Ada ready to replace church that burned

2/25/2014
BY VANESSA McCRAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
An architect’s rendering of what the new Ada First United Methodist Church will look like. Construction on the project is expected to begin on March 17 and continue until February, 2015.
An architect’s rendering of what the new Ada First United Methodist Church will look like. Construction on the project is expected to begin on March 17 and continue until February, 2015.

The church’s 1899 structure was destroyed in March, 2012. The replacement will be on the same site, but farther from the street.
The church’s 1899 structure was destroyed in March, 2012. The replacement will be on the same site, but farther from the street.

ADA, Ohio — A new Ada First United Methodist Church soon will rise from the ashes where the congregation’s 113-year-old church burned in 2012.

Two years after a March, 2012, fire destroyed the church at the corner of North Main Street and Highland Avenue, construction will begin on its replacement, a two-story, brick-and-stone building designed with nods to both the past and future.

Weather permitting, work is scheduled to begin March 17 on the new church. A groundbreaking ceremony is planned for noon March 30, and both church and community members are invited. Construction is scheduled to end in February, 2015.

Robert McCurdy, chairman of the church’s building committee, said specific details remain to be worked out, but parishioners would like to worship in the new building by the fire’s third anniversary.

The decision to rebuild on the same site as the old church, located at one end of the Hardin County village’s downtown area, was welcomed by those outside the 300-member congregation as well.

“We hear that all the time from townspeople, ‘Oh, I’m so happy that the church is going back there,’ ” Mr. McCurdy said.

The congregation still needs to raise $300,000 to $400,000 for the $6 million building project, to be paid for with contributions from church members, donations from other churches and supporters, and insurance proceeds.

The 25,000-square-foot building features a second-floor sanctuary that will seat 240 people and a commercial kitchen and fellowship hall on the first floor. There’s also room for children’s ministry and Christian education programs.

The church design incorporates some of the old building’s Gothic architecture elements, but uses more glass to create a warmer feel.

“Before, the old church sat really close to the street without windows, so it kind of felt like a fortress as you were walking by. So we’ve pulled it back from the street a little bit, so we still have the hints of the old church, but with all of the glass, it’s more welcoming and open to the community,” said Tracie Carpenter, project manager with RCM Architects of Findlay.

The old church was made of stone, while the new one will be mostly brick with some stone. Like the previous church, the new building will have a rose window.

The church selected Thomas & Marker Construction of Bellefontaine, Ohio, as its general contractor.

Twelve volunteer subcommittees helped plan the new building. The groups have provided input on everything from interior wall colors, carpeting, and landscaping to liturgical furniture.

The congregation continues to meet Sunday at 10 a.m. for services at Ohio Northern University’s English Chapel.

Contact Vanessa McCray at: vmccray@theblade.com or 419-724-6065, or on Twitter @vanmccray.