Burgessville Baptist Church Sunday services on hiatus
The Burgessville Baptist Church held its final service on Easter Sunday. The church will remain open, without services, until the end of the year as group members seek guidance and clarity for the church's future. The building will continue to be the host a variety of ministries throughout the week.
Though Sunday services have ended, the outlook remains optimistic.
The Burgessville Baptist Church held its final Sunday service on Easter Sunday, as 21 members of the congregation said their goodbyes.
While special services and weekly programs were going well for the church, the regular services on Sundays had seen a decline in attendance. Eventually, it became less and less financially viable to stay open throughout the week and support the programs.
Emma Johnston served as both pastor of the church and as the editor of the Burford Advance newspaper. As it became too cumbersome to continue both positions, she decided to resign as pastor.
With her resignation - and it becoming more difficult to financially support - it was decided to suspend Sunday services, but Johnston and members of the church remain hopeful and positive about the future.
"We recognize that the church has been there for 180 years and has done some really great things for the community," said Johnston. "We don't want this to be a break off: 'we're done, we're out of the community, the end.' We're just waiting to see what the future holds."
The group is keeping its eyes and ears open if any mission groups or another church would want to use the building.
"We have this building that's in great shape and in the community for 180 years. If there's some way it can continue to do something positive, we want to embrace that."
While Johnston explained she will not return as pastor, she will remain involved with the church in some capacity as a member of committees and as the moderator for the local church association.
"I'm not really going anywhere but I'm not going to be leading the Sunday morning worship."
The church will remain open, without services, until the end of the year as group members seek guidance and clarity for the church's future. The building will also continue to host a variety of ministries throughout the week.
Johnston said that there is a good chance that the church will hold its Decoration Day service this fall.