Mission 3:16 Revitalizes Tyndall Church Building
COSHOCTON — Sheldon Mencer couldn’t bear to see the church he grew up in close to remaining vacant.
The Tyndall United Methodist Church congregation has aged and shrunk in recent years and recently merged with Conesville and New Moscow United Methodist churches. Sheldon told the church elder that if the building became available, he and his wife, Tammy, would be interested.
The church closed in November 2020, and the Mencers reopened it with a dedication ceremony on September 11. Renovations are underway and although they are far from holding services, concerts and special events are planned.
Happy Harmony, an Amish trio from Millersburg, will perform at 7 p.m. Friday at the church now known as Mission 3:16 Tyndall, 18091 Township Road 284.
“This church has always been near and dear to my heart. A lot of my family attended,” Sheldon said. “We have a lot of reason to continue the ministry here, because a lot of people have put their hearts and souls and a lot of hard-earned money into making it a place of worship.”
Since the missionary ministry of the Mencers was non-profit, the property may have been given to them. The cemetery on the grounds went to the administrators of Franklin Township. The cemetery is closed, but people who have previously purchased plots can still be buried there and the municipality will maintain it in the future. Mission 3:16 will allow funeral services in the building for those who will be buried in the cemetery.
Sheldon said they cut down trees to open up the exterior more and increase the number of parking spaces. They hope to add a picnic shelter and children’s play area in the future.
The interior has also been cleaned and the carpet has been removed to reveal the hardwood floors, which will be sanded and varnished. They want to paint the walls and remove the bottom panels for the original paneling below. Acoustical tiles will be installed to improve the sound. Two new bathrooms are under construction.
“We don’t want to modernize the church, but we want to bring it up to date,” Tammy said. “Part of the reason for changing it too is that it’s not a Methodist church anymore. We don’t want people to come up with that in mind. It’s a non-denominational organization.”
A few special events are planned until the end of the year. Looking to the future, they would like to start a Bible study group and a monthly evening praise and worship service. As they grow, regular weekly services and other programs may follow.
Sheldon said the community response has been positive so far.
“During the transition, we tried to honor the people who went here and the history here,” he said. “We don’t want to turn it into a museum.”
Upcoming Events at Mission 3:16 Tyndall
Happy Harmony at 7 p.m. Friday.
Mission Conference at 10 a.m. on Nov. 13 focused on Mission 3:16 efforts in Haiti and Africa.
Thanksgiving Worship Service at 7 p.m. November 18
Mencer, White and Cheney Christmas Concert at 7 p.m. on December 2
Christmas Eve service at 7 p.m. on December 23
Tax-deductible donations can be sent to Mission 3:16 Tyndall, PO Box 1288, Coshocton, OH 43812