Port Townsend's Trinity United Methodist Church offers to give away building
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Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News
Former Trinity United Methodist Church pastor Wendell Ankeny, left, talks to project manager David Weeding about donating this building on church property.

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — Church officials preparing for new construction are offering to give away a small building to anyone who will move it and use it.

“We are planning to put a new structure on the site, which is why we are giving away the existing building,” said David Weeding, who is managing the project for Trinity United Methodist Church at 609 Taylor St.

“It will cost us $15,000 to tear it down and dispose of the materials, and we think that someone else can put it to good use.”

The structure, which measures about 26 feet square and 21 feet high, includes an attic, was built in the 1940s and is one of many additions to the site that features an original building erected in 1871.

The building is now in use as a organ shop and “needs to be cleaned out,” according to Weeding.

Its interior is finished and includes six new windows and two doors. It is wired and fitted for electric baseboard heat.

Weeding has sought cost estimates for moving the building but has not yet received them.

He said two parties have expressed interest so far.

Former pastor Wendell Ankeny said the recipient must be able to move the building safely and efficiently.

“This would be a great shop for someone who could put it in their backyard,” Ankeny said.

Removal of the building is part of a proposed $400,000 construction project to renovate the church's old building, which includes widening the entry, creating a “crying room” for those with children who require privacy, evening out the floors and building a new 1,500-square-foot fellowship hall on the area cleared when the small building is moved.

The current fellowship hall is located in the basement and was created by digging out the area below the existing church.

The ceiling is only 6-feet-11-inches high, which isn't comfortable for the large gatherings that take place after church services, Weeding said.

The new basement will house offices and classrooms that don't require a larger open space, Weeding said.

The church has collected about $220,000 in pledges so far for the project and will continue the pledge drive throughout the year.

If all goes smoothly, the church will hire an architect in September and enlist a builder in April, with construction beginning by Christmas 2015, Weeding said.

The church is the oldest United Methodist Church in the Pacific Northwest in constant use in the same location and was listed on the Washington Historic Register in 1972.

Renovations will continue the revitalization of the church, which only had 12 members when Ankeny arrived as pastor in 2000.

At the time, the Methodist administration reportedly planned to close the church but changed plans when Ankeny turned things around.

When he retired in 2012, the church had 130 families identified as members, although many people who were not formally committed attended services.

The new pastor, Tony Brown, has maintained Ankeny's momentum, Weeding said.

For more information about the building, call Weeding at 360-302-1040.

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Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: July 27. 2014 6:44PM
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