CALDWELL - The congregation of the Caldwell United Methodist Church on Coudersport Pike (Route 664) is restoring the building's exterior.
Built in 1897, the historic structure became a one-room church in 1900. It has seen the same changes over the years that most buildings of its era have. The wood stoves were replaced with a furnace in 1922, gas lights were installed the same decade, only to be replaced by electric lights in 1947. At one time, a steeple enabled the sounds of the church bell to peal across the mountainside, but it deteriorated over the years and eventually had to be removed.
In recent years, it has seen a number of improvements, including plumbing.
In 2012, the congregation hopes to install new wooden siding, similar to the church's current exterior.
Church members have been planning the replacement of the siding for a number of years and have held bake sale/yard sales the Saturdays of Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends to finance it, as well as accepting contributions to the building fund.
The congregation purchased the siding this past fall, and the priming has been completed. The removal of the old wooden siding will begin soon, with the hope that the basic structure is still solid. The congregation hopes to have enough funds to finish the project this fall.
The Caldwell Church congregation dates to 1880. Today it is small, with about 15 to 20 people who are very industrious parishioners and, when possible, do the work themselves.
Their most recent project was adding a handicap-access ramp to one side of the entrance.
Other completed projects include a new tin roof, new overhead lights (after one came crashing down one Sunday morning) and ceiling fans for the sanctuary. An all-purpose/Sunday school room was added in the 1990s to the back of the church, with an inside toilet facility. The old "outhouse" still sits in back of the building as a memory of times past.
The church is currently accepting donations for of the re-siding project. To make a donation or request further information, contact Caldwell United Methodist Church, Box 60, McElhattan, Pa. 17748 or email email@example.com.
Caldwell Church is a part of the McElhattan United Methodist Charge with Pastor T.R. Hardic. Services begin at 8:30 a.m. every Sunday morning. The last Sunday of every month, a breakfast is open to the congregation and visitors in the all-purpose room at 8 a.m., hosted by a family from the church.