Church to Move into Former Elementary School

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Franklin Elementary School near Lehighton has sat vacant for more than a year. Soon, it will be turned into a church.

"It's good that it's going to be used for whatever purpose. We will see," said Dave Moulthrop, Franklin Township.

Bethany Wesleyan Church based in Northampton County bought the property for $415,000.

Casey Spencer will be the campus pastor.

Franklin Elementary School is the final of four elementary schools to be sold at auction by the Lehighton Area School District.

"About a month ago, we toured the Franklin Township Elementary School. We knew it was available through the school district for purchase and we made an offer and it was accepted last Monday officially by the school board," said Pastor Spencer.

Since last Easter, the church has been renting out a room at Lehighton Middle School, and the pastor tells Newswatch 16 he's been waiting for a permanent place.

"There is a lot of energy that goes into tearing down and setting up a church service every week and not having a permanent space available for things like children's ministry and youth programming, and so giving us a permanent place to land lets us do more programs for the community," said Spencer.

"It's alright with me. The only thing is that churches don't pay taxes and that is one thing that would help us if they sold it to someone that will help us out with our taxes," Dolores Moulthrop, Franklin Township.

Church officials say they are just waiting to close on the deal. Then remodeling will begin.


  • John Koch

    Hey Dolores, guess what? That big hospital going in down the street doesn’t pay taxes either, but I’m sure that makes you happy. Gnaden Huetten generated over 72.7 Million dollars in fiscal year 2017 and it’s CEO made over $500,000. They also operate at a huge loss every year.
    Churches provide to their communities in ways the hospital does not. It isn’t their job. Many churches also struggle to stay afloat as well. Tax exempt status is something some folks can’t wrap their head around when it comes to a church, but are the first in line to take the hand-out. Many receiving help never step foot in a church or offer any sort of reimbursement just like at the hospital.
    Maybe if you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior you would understand how this all works.

    • John Koch

      Let me also add if you want lower taxes, contact your elected officials about setting term limits and limits to their pensions and health care. Vote for people that believe in term limits and taking less money from their constituents. We need to elect people that can’t be bought by big corporations or the wealthy to influence the laws.

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