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Hillview Community Church rebuilds in time for 50th anniversary

Pastor Joe Folckemer, right, hands Amber McLain a stack of pavers, which will be placed in the new patio between Hillview Community Church’s sanctuary and new fellowship hall. The congregation lost its fellowship hall earlier this year when accumulated snow collapsed the roof destroying the entire building.

Pastor Joe Folckemer, right, hands Amber McLain a stack of pavers, which will be placed in the new patio between Hillview Community Church’s sanctuary and new fellowship hall. The congregation lost its fellowship hall earlier this year when accumulated snow collapsed the roof destroying the entire building. Photo by Erin Wisneski.

— Hillview Community Church has reason to celebrate.

Not only will the congregation commemorate its 50th anniversary at the end of this month, but it has found strength after devastation earlier this year.

In the early hours of Feb. 7, the fellowship building at Hillview collapsed under the weight of accumulated snow. The building, where the congregation held many different events including its popular Coffeehouse musical series, was destroyed beyond repair.

“We are very grateful to God that no one was in the building when this occurred and that our main brick building, which contains our sanctuary, remained intact,” said Pastor Joe Folckemer of Hillview Community Church. “Now, after a busy construction season, we are planning the dedication ceremony for our new addition and our 50th year of ministry.

The anniversary celebration weekend will be held Saturday, Oct. 29, and Sunday, Oct. 30. Festivities will kick off with an “Old Fashioned Hymn Sing” from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, followed by an open house and silent auction from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

“All proceeds from the silent auction will go to our recovery fund to help cover the cost of construction that was not covered by insurance,” Folckemer said.

At 10 a.m. Sunday, the celebration continues with a dedication service for the new community room. Rev. Dr. Tom Hast, former Area Field Minister for American Baptist Churches NYS, will lead the service. The Iroquois Association of the American Baptist Churches NYS will then hold their annual fall meeting at 2 p.m. in Hillview's new Community Room.

“The entire congregation has been amazed and strengthened by witnessing God's goodness through the events that have unfolded since that February morning when the Fellowship Hall collapsed,” Folckemer said. “We invite everyone to come out and help us to celebrate our new Community Room and the 50th anniversary of the date that a handful of determined Christians gathered together in someone's living room to form the ministry that became Hillview Community Church.”

For more information, visit hillviewcbc.org.

Erin Wisneski is the editor of the Baldwinsville Messenger. Contact her at editor@baldwinsvillemessenger.com.

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