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First service held at a showroom turned church


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    DICKSON CITY, PA (WNEP) — The former Gibbons Ford dealership in Dickson City is now home to Cornerstone Alliance Church.

Members finally gathered here this weekend for the first in-person service in the new space.

“I feel a jumble of emotions, I’m excited I’m nervous, ministry 23 years and I have first day jitters,” said Rev. Nestor Soto.

The new place of worship is the product of two churches merging: The Peckville Alliance Church in Blakely and the County Alliance Church in Clarks Summit.

One contingency of the merger was finding a new space where the aging population at both churches could access the building easily.

The Peckville Alliance Church had steep stairs at the entrance and no wheelchair-accessible ramp.

“Handicap mattered. We had so many of ours that are handicapped here, wheelchairs and whatever you know, we have a lot of elderly here we all need a way to get up here easier,” said church member Charles Valenza of Peckville.

Reverend Soto is hopeful the church will start to attract new and younger members and to make this a place where that can happen, they spent over $220,000 on renovations, and they’ve still got more left to do.

“It gave us the opportunity to work with architects and spec it out to exactly the thing that we wanted to do with the size of the sanctuary, fellowship room, youth room, hospitality room, prayer room,” he said.

After a years-long rehab of the building and many hangups due to COVID restrictions, members were singing praises for the chance to gather in person and gather in the new location.

“The people are ecstatic. It’s a long time overdue, we’ve got a nice new building, well not a new building but a nice upgraded building and it meets the needs of the people that’s the biggest thing,” explained church member Presley Bartlebaugh of Mayfield.

Church leaders say they will continue virtual services for many of their members who don’t feel comfortable attending in person yet.

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