WOODSTOCK — The Woodstock Seventh-day Adventist Church has broken ground and begun construction on its new church and school building. The building will replace three separate structures that currently house the church, the Forestdale Christian School and the church’s food pantry.
The new building, the shell and roof of which is expected to be fully completed before the coming winter, is a 10,500 square foot single-story structure that has within it distinct spaces for all of the functions of the buildings the church now uses. The cost of constructing the new facility is just short of $600,000.
Local contractors will undertake various portions of the construction process. Completion of the new building will depend on the speed with which the congregation is able to raise about $250,000 to complete the interior of the building. Construction is being initiated with the money the church has thus far raised as well as a loan from the Northern New England Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
The church building now in use was originally built and used in Sumner before the turn of the last century, and was purchased by the church and moved to its Woodstock site in the late 1950s. The school buildings now in use by the Forestdale Christian School, a K-8 school with two teachers and 20 students, were originally a small church which was enlarged in a series of expansion projects over the past 75 years. The school has been serving the Oxford Hills area for more than 75 years.
In addition to the students, the volunteers that run the food pantry are excited. “We have been doing our best, but this fellowship hall was not designed to accommodate a food pantry” said Erland Hadley, long-time food pantry coordinator and volunteer. “And as times have gotten harder and more people are coming to the food pantry for help, it has been getting tougher and tougher. It will be such a blessing to have a place for the food pantry that was designed with that use in mind.”
The Woodstock congregation, which has more than 200 members, is one of the older congregations in the Seventh-day Adventist church. The Seventh-day Adventist church, which has its roots in Maine and was founded in 1863, is known for the hospitals and schools that it runs and now has a world membership of almost 17 million.