ALBANY, GA (WALB) - As more business and residential development is underway in downtown Albany, one of the historic downtown churches is also showing their faith that Albany is growing.
First United Methodist Church in downtown Albany is undergoing a major renovation, saying churches are a vital part to the community's growth.
Floors are going in at First United Methodist Church of Albany, as part of their quarter million dollar renovation of the sanctuary.
"This is the most important part of the church," said First United Methodist of Albany Senior Minister Thad Haygood.
First United Methodist just celebrated its 175th anniversary in the same location in downtown Albany, and say they are anticipating their next 175 years there.
"We are a church in downtown Albany, with a heart in downtown Albany, and we're not going anywhere. So we want to continue to be vital and vibrant in ministry in downtown Albany," said Haygood.
Most of the new economic developments in downtown Albany are just blocks from First United Methodist, so leaders are working to make sure the church is ready to welcome dozens of expected new families moving there.
"I think this is a very promising, hopeful sign for downtown Albany. There is a lot of momentum coming back this way. And we want to be a part of that," said Haygood.
This is the first renovation of the sanctuary since it was built in 1951. New lighting and electronics will update for what they believe will be the bright future growth around them in downtown. And they believe the church has to be a part of that new growth.
"I think it's vitally important because it reminds people they are loved. That they are not forgotten. That they have a place, and it reminds them that they belong to God," said Haygood.
The renovation is expected to be complete in time for a July 9th celebration service.
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