By Cindy Solomon

Clark United Methodist Church in McMinnville, Tennessee, received a $2,000 grant from the Golden Cross Foundation, a ministry of the Tennessee Conference of The United Methodist Church. The grant helped fund new front entrance doors.

The previous wooden doors had deteriorated to the point that they were out of alignment, resulting in heat loss during the winter and difficulty opening and closing them year-round.

“The doors were also a bit noisy and distracting during worship,” said Clark UMC’s pastor, the Rev. Gerard Harlan.

Ultimately church members chose to purchase glass doors with one-way vision. This was, in part, for security reasons.

“On many occasions, visitors entered during the middle of a service and got up and left before the service ended,” Harlan said. “It was very unnerving to members, especially in the environment we are in today. The new glass doors allow us to see people entering while those outside of the building cannot see in.”

While offering safety, security, ease of operation, and minimal heat loss, the new doors also give members a heightened sense of pride in the church building. Many in the community have remarked about how good the doors look from the street.

“I don’t think anyone ever imagined the doors looking as good as they do,” Harlan said.

This is the second grant the church has received. A grant in 2019 helped start an older adult ministry and replace a worn-out accessibility ramp. The two grants are helping the small congregation envision the church’s future.

“Seeing another completed project helps people imagine additional ministries,” Harlan said. “With God, all things are possible. We are thankful to the Golden Cross Foundation and the Tennessee Conference for recognizing the need within our connectional church to provide resources promoting older adult ministries.”