Free Methodists return to new-look sanctuary in Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 April 2013 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – The praise team at the Free Methodist Church in Albion leads the congregation in singing today at the remodelled sanctuary, which includes a platform and two projectors from the ceiling.

ALBION – After holding church services the previous two Sundays at the Hoag Library, the Albion Free Methodist congregation returned home today following extensive remodeling in the sanctuary.

The pews were removed from the church following a service on Oct. 27. The carpet was ripped out. The sanctuary was repainted, new carpet was put down and 220 cushioned seats were added by today.

The sanctuary also changed from facing the east wall to facing north. A platform was built, and a sound booth was created out of a former closet.

The Rev. Randy LeBaron preaches today in the Albion church after the Free Methodists had church the previous two weeks at the Hoag Library. LeBaron led the church in a dedication service for the redone sanctuary.

The church made the changes after the previous setup became crowded. By shifting to the layout and adding individual chairs, rather than pews, the church was able to boost capacity by about 50 people.

Church members did about 90 percent of the work of the remodeling themselves.

The Albion church is historic. It’s the first one in a denomination that has grown to more than 1,000 churches in the United States since its original in Albion more than 150 years ago.

The Free Methodists in Albion have worked on the building over the years, including putting on an addition about 30 years ago.

The Rev. Randy LeBaron is pictured in the church last month before the renovations.