Association hopes to save historic Harrisburg churches

Harrisburg

Congregations will vote this weekend on a plan by the Susquehanna United Methodist Conference to consolidate its 10 churches in the Harrisburg area.

Historic Harrisburg Association is asking the conference to remove two churches from consideration — Camp Curtin Memorial Mitchell and Grace United Methodist Church — due to the historical nature of the buildings.

The association fears years of history will be gone forever.

“Churches are tough to sell, and if another congregation wants to buy it, fine. We want to see the churches preserved, but in many cases, that’s not going to happen. They will sit and deteriorate,” said Jeb Stuart, a preservation advisor for Historic Harrisburg.

Grace United Methodist was used as a temporary capitol building for several years after the original building burned in 1897. Many historians credit the church with preserving Harrisburg’s status as the state capital.

The conference has said special consideration would be given to Camp Curtin Memorial Mitchell and Grace due to their historical nature.

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