First United Methodist Church of Palestine recently celebrated the retirement of a debt of $1.5 million from the sanctuary building renovation in 2007.
The sanctuary was completely renovated as well as the office suite on the lower floor. The renovation also included a new parlor, small kitchen, library and bridal suite area.
The Rev. B.T. Williamson, pastoral assistant to Bishop Janice Hue, led the dedication service along with several members of the FUMC Trustee Board.
Essential to the debt-reduction was a new fund-raising ministry started in 2011 called “Beef, Bakes and Bids Bazaar” at FUMC. Much work went into this ministry by the whole church membership. More than 450 persons attended this year’s event on May 18. The church made $22,000 gross this year on the fund-raiser.
“It was a great church team effort in debt reduction,” a FUMC news release said.
The Rev. Bruce Hay is the pastor of FUMC and is retiring after 42 years of ministry. Hay served seven churches during his ministry and his last day at FUMC will be June 30.