Asbury Church in Shepherdstown celebrated the opening of their Family Life building with a dedication ceremony on Saturday, Apr. 26.
The new one-story building and accompanying facilities include an expanded parking lot with full handicap accessibility, a drive-thru canopy, fully-equipped welcome centers, a multi-media center, sanctuary seating for over 500 worshipers, a gymnasium, classrooms, two nurseries, a commercial kitchen and two additional public restrooms.
Pastor Rudolph M. Bropleh, speaking to a large crowd gathered to celebrate the expansion, shared that the people of Asbury made the facility a reality through their generosity and sacrifice.
"We can do big things in God's name," he said. "And I have a felling God is not through with us yet."
Bropleh broke down the name of the center, explaining that each part has specific meaning to the church community. Family, because people and family are important to God, he said. Life because that is what God gives and Building for the good of all people and to the glory of God.
Bropleh shared that the church community will start soon on additional construction at the church as an office annex is planned on the west side of the building.
Rev. Edgardo Rivera, district superintendent of the Frederick District, Baltimore Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church, was a guest speaker. He commented that the two fastest growing churches in his district are both in Jefferson County and both Asbury, one in Shepherdstown and the other in Charles Town.
Also sharing the podium with words of congratulation on the day's dedication were Clark Dixon, chair of the church's Expansion Team, Dr. Carl Frasch, co-chair of Asbury Trustees and Dr. Suzanne Shiepley, president of Shepherd University. A ribbon cutting ceremony concluded the event, after which refreshments were served.
This new facility is part of Asbury's ongoing investment in its community, as it strives to offer more to families in this area. Asbury has been able to offer parenting classes and computer literacy classes for adults, scouting programs, the School Sharpener (an after school program for elementary and middle school students), hardship assistance and more. The new Family Life building will enable Asbury to offer educational, recreational and wellness programs, as well as other services for families with children, according to a written statement on the building.
The program Saturday also featured the Shepherdstown Middle School Jazz Band as well as Asbury's Mighty Men chorus, whose performance had audience members clapping along and some even dancing in the aisles.