Medina Journal-Register — The effort to transform the former Apple Grove restaurant into a vibrant new home for the Medina United Methodist Church has slowed in progress as the church seeks the financial boost needed to finish the project.
A small but committed group of church members has continued working on the West Center Street building after contracted work was shut down in May, with plans to re-launch the final three-to-four months of interior work once financing is lined up.
”We’ve hunkered down,” Reverend Tony Hipes said while walking through the future church Wednesday morning. “We’ve done a lot of work ourselves — putting in sweat equity.”
Hipes, who was installed at the church in July, said MUMC needs around $200,000 to finish the remaining work. The church has spent more than $700,000 on demolition, renovation and infrastructure since purchasing the building in October 2010.
The challenge has brought Hipes’ flock closer together. Attendees weekly prayer service at the church’s longtime West Center Street home are dedicating an increasing share of their petitions for spiritual assistance in delivering the needed funding, and a monthly “noisy can” offering chipping in towards the ultimate goal.
”It’s been a blessing for our congregation to step up and take ownership of this project,” Hipes said. “We’re praying that we’d have an angel investor land on our doorstep.”
Inside the former restaurant, which was last occupied five years ago, are signs of an unfinished but attainable dream.
The interior is shielded from the elements. Many of the rough-ins for plumbing, electricity and heating are installed, although the rooms they sit in are uncarpeted and unadorned.
The high ceilings that dominates the fellowship hall, and a large portion of the middle of the building’s rooms are still wood frames. Ceiling equipment, donated by the Buffalo Science Museum and the Bank of Castile’s Medina branch, is partially installed in the offices; much more sits in neat piles.