SARANAC - The Saranac United Methodist Church and its parsonage are both in need of a little work. And, it's work to the tune several thousand dollars.
Larry Lake, pastor of the Saranac United Methodist Church, said the church leadership has been working since last fall to raise enough money to complete renovations to both the church and the parsonage, located off State Route 3 in the town of Saranac.
The buildings, said Lake, date back to the early 1900s, and are in need of general repairs. A section of the church's roof was replaced last fall as part of the largest repairs needed by the two buildings, the pastor added.
"We've already spent over $10,000 repairing section of the roof," said Lake. "There was significant rotting in the wood from leaks we were unaware of. We're now in the process of repairing and renovating other sections of the church and just maintaining the buildings like we normally do."
Renovations planned for the buildings include painting the exterior of the church and replacing the roof to an addition on the church. The church leadership would also like to remove slate from another section of the roof and restore it before placing it back onto the aging structure.
"Perhaps there are cheaper ways to do it, but we don't want to put plastic siding on the church," said Lake, referring to the painting of the church. "We want to keep the buildings as original as possible."
That's because there's a sense of pride in the community for the building, regardless if people attend services there or not, said Lake.
"It has significant meaning to people because it's the only church in the village now," said Lake, referring to the area now that was once an incorporated village.
Though the church leadership is looking to raise $50,000, the remaining work to repair and restore the church is estimated at $40,000. Already, the church has raised $10,000 since last fall when its reserve fund was depleted entirely to cover the cost of roof repairs.
"We try to keep monies aside that don't come out of our operating budget," explained Lake. "Every year, something needs to be done and we need to have the money to do it."
In addition to restoring the money in the reserve fund, a little more than $4,000 has been received to help cover the cost of future repairs and renovations. The money, said Lake, has come in mainly in the form of donations.
"We've had great support from our membership" said Lake, who noted only 220 members are in the church's congregation. "It really didn't take long for us to build back up our reserve fund."
However, the road ahead is one Lake said will likely take longer.
"We know it may come along slow," he said, "but I have faith in our community. They don't hesitate to help one another."
Lake hopes the support from the community will continue as the church readies itself to host a performance by Beartracks, an acoustic music trio consisting of Junior Barber, Tom Venne and Julie Venne Hogan. The concert, scheduled for Saturday, May 21, will begin at 7 p.m. The $10 cost of admission will benefit the Saranac United Methodist Church Renovation Fund.