Slowly but surely, the tiny congregation of Maspeth United Methodist Church is raising money for a new house of worship. A new church would replace the one destroyed by a fire last summer.
Since the June fire, the roughly 25-member congregation has held services in the basement chapel of the Transfiguration Roman Catholic Church on Clinton Street in Maspeth, according to the church’s new pastor, Reverend Eumin Kim.
(Kim’s predecessor, Avelio de Leon, left the church in July. Kim said de Leon made plans to leave before the fire struck).
“It’s been a difficult process, there’s been a lot of mourning and grief,” over the destroyed church, said Kim. At the same time, he said, congregants remain optimistic a new one can be built fast.
“The mood of the congregation right now is really upbeat and positive,” Kim said.
The church has received payment from an insurance company for fire damages (Kim declined to say how much), and added to it with a fundraising drive.
So far, said Kim, congregants, community organizations such as the Maspeth Lion’s Club, and other churches have responded generously. “In a lot of ways [everyone is] aware of our situation,” said Kim.
With seed money in place for a new church, Kim said discussions have begun on what it might look like, and how long it would take to build. He said estimates on how much a new building might cost are premature.
“We’re still in the beginning stages of finding a legal team and architects to get an estimate of what it’s going to cost,” said Kim.
Realistically, he said, the project could take a long time. “It’ll take a few years,” he said.
Until it’s finished, Maspeth United Methodist Church will continue meeting where it can, and raising money for a new home, Kim said.
“We want the community to know we’re still there and have plans to rebuild,” said Kim. He added, “we are grateful for the community’s support.”