LEBANON, Pa. (WHTM) — True Life Youth Ministries, a Christian non-profit organization, announced that they would be holding a capital campaign event this weekend in hopes of raising funds to construct a new youth center.

Back in Nov. 2020, the congregation of the former Christ Presbyterian Church in Lebanon, generously donated 3.4 acres of land and their church building to True Life Youth Ministry, after hearing that the organization was in need of a new home.

“I just trusted that God would find all of us a new home and then [Christ Presbyterian Church] reached out,” Executive Director of True Life Youth Ministries Jerry Higley said.

According to Higley, this historic location will replace True Life’s current youth center that is located in the basement of 740 Willow St. in Lebanon. With this larger space, True Life will be able to offer more programs and services for many children in and around Lebanon County.

On Dec. 10, 2022, starting at 10 a.m., True Life Youth Ministries will be kicking off their capital campaign called “Build Hope,” at the former Christ Presbyterian Church on 1300 W. Maple St. According to True Life, they will also be holding an in-person and online, historical auction of vintage items that were once used by the founding family of Christ Church – Dawson and Deborah Coleman. True Life will also be auctioning items used by the previous congregation of Christ Presbyterian Church. The auction will be starting at 9 a.m. and will continue after the “Build Hope” event.

Proceeds from the auction will be used to restore the stone brick on the exterior of the 152-year-old church, which was built in 1870. Additionally, the proceeds will go towards the capital campaign for the new youth center project. Currently, True Life Youth Ministry has raised about $500,000 for the youth center project, according to Higley.

The project is expected to cost $1.2 million, and aims to create a safe/healthy environment for kids to experience a sense of family, learn life skills, prepare for the future, and strengthen their faith and relationship with Jesus Christ. According to True Life, the building plans for the new youth center include:

  • Gymnasium expansion
  • Increasing size of kitchen
  • Additional dining room space
  • Other necessary repairs

True Life hopes to break ground on the youth center renovation project in February or March 2023 – they are currently still in the building permit process. According to Higley, the organization then hopes to be moved into their new youth center by next fall 2023.

True Life Youth Ministries was originally called the “Lebanon Valley Youth for Christ,” and was founded in 1945. True Life’s mission is to build a community of young lives that were changed by Jesus Christ, according to True Life’s website.

If you would like to donate towards True Life’s youth center project, you can mail donations to True Life Youth Ministries at 740 Willow St., Lebanon, Pa. 17046.

abc27 news will keep you updated on this project as more information becomes available.