Scranton Church Closes Doors For Final Time

SCRANTON -- It's the end of an era as a church in Scranton had its final service on Sunday.

The scene was somber inside Bethel Baptist Church on South Main Avenue in Scranton. After 100 years, the church is closing for good.

The land the church sits on will be the site of a new rehabilitation center.

"Very sad and acceptance of the Lord's will because the situation we find ourselves in is a mixed feeling," said Pastor Joe Santos, Bethel Baptist Church.

The church used to have 100 members. Over the years, however, the congregation dwindled to only six active members.

Pastor Richard Hurd said the lack of attendance at churches is disheartening.

"Scranton has had several churches close across denominations: Catholic churches, Baptist churches, Lutheran churches, and it's disappointing to see our society turn away from God," Hurd said.

In the pews sat Alan, Daniel, and Thomas Thomas.

Their father, who was also named Thomas Thomas, pastored at Bethel Baptist Church for 30 years.

"Well, it's the emotional attachment when you grow up here and your dad is the pastor. It's the emotional attachment, and I just felt like I needed to be here," said Thomas Thomas, former member.

Even though this was the final service at the church, the pastors spoke messages of encouragement.

"With the apostle Paul, his ministry was over, and he was given a charge to continue the ministry no matter where we go, and that is the message for today, finishing the race and finishing it with joy," said Hurd.

Bethel Baptist Church is expected to be torn down in March so construction on a medical rehabilitation center can begin in the spring.

The pastors will now go to other churches to continue their ministries.

8 comments

  • Hope

    thsi is truly sad but there are many thriving relavant churches in Scranton. Steamtown Church. City Lights. Parker Hill Dickson city. This makes it sound like Scranton is doomed without a light. So come on out and meet with God.

  • Dont be a trump hypocrit now!

    Many American churches have been turned into Muslim Mosques. Why do Yankees spew conservatism and not go to church and practice what they preach?? Oh Yeah, that right.They are to busy standing in the liberal welfare line. You love the free liberal welfare while claiming to be a conservative tRUMP supporter. Hypocrite welfare trash.

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