Place of Worship to Become Place of Workouts

JESSUP, Pa. -- A place of worship, tucked away on a small street in Jessup, will soon become a place for workouts.

"I've sung for church my whole life, so having those two worlds collide in one place is really awesome," said Talia Walsh, owner of Quest Studio, a health and fitness center in Jessup.

Walsh wanted to open up a second location for some time now, so when she heard that the First Presbyterian Church, just a block away from her fitness studio was closing, she jumped at the opportunity.

"To me, it allows it to live on to what its purpose has been for 125 years. It can be a space for the community to still come, and to worship just in a different way."

The church has been here for more than a century. It closed back in June due to a lack of members and money.

Walsh plans to incorporate some of the original features of the church. Every time someone loses a pound, they get to ring one of the church's bells.

She'll remove the pews, but the stained-glass windows will stay. Walsh thinks they'll contribute to a relaxing ambiance, perfect for a yoga class.

"In fitness, we think of mind, body, spirit, and our bodies are our sanctuaries. It's the only house we have to live in, so to have the symbolism of working out in a space that's a sanctuary basically, to me, is perfect," Walsh said.

Walsh says support from the community, and the former owners of the building, has been positive so far.

"It's a little bit different, but I think it's pretty cool. Get people involved, get them out of the house, exercising, stretching a little bit. It's good for their wellness, so I'm all for it," said Jason Munley of Jessup.

Walsh hopes to have the place up and running in time for New Year's resolutions.

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