Amen is final for church

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After the final offering, final doxology and final litany of praise, the Rev. Ed Rees came to the part of the service he would have rather skipped.

It was the declaration of dissolution, the words that would officially dissolve the 129-year-old congregation of Greene Street Presbyterian Church, which had dwindled to about a dozen members as people moved to the suburbs.

"In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the authority of Northeast Georgia Presbytery, I declare this building vacated by the members of Greene Street Presbyterian Church, and the congregation now dissolved," said the Rev. Rees, chairman of the commission that will decide the historic building's future.

The Presbytery has offered to lease the property to GAP Ministries for $1 a year until a buyer can be found. GAP, a downtown mission that runs a food pantry and other programs, has not responded.

The Sunday afternoon service quickly turned to reminiscing as former pastors, organists and church members spoke.

The Rev. Robert Hunt, who left in 1991, was called to Greene Street nearly 50 years ago. He remembered former members well, calling many by name.

"There were saints of the Lord who lived and worshipped here," he said. "I see some of you who were the products of those saints."

Mary Ann Howard would count herself as one of them.

"The people in this church nourished us," said Mrs. Howard, a member of the youth group who was baptized and married at Greene Street. "They gave our lives to us. We're different people because of them."

The final benediction was delivered by the Rev. David Hagan, who with the congregation held his hands high to form in sign language "I love you" as the organist played the final hymn, For All the Saints , a funeral song in the Presbyterian hymn book.

Reach Kelly Jasper at (706) 823-3552 or kelly.jasper@augustachronicle.com.

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rbk
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rbk 10/20/08 - 07:34 am
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Very sad indeed.

Very sad indeed.

Newsreader
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Newsreader 10/20/08 - 08:24 am
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Why is sad to know that a

Why is sad to know that a church that served the Lord's purpose and found the end of its journey. Many churches hang on because one or two members think they must continue. There are other Presbyterian Churches in Augusta, maybe not as convenient to the members, but available. Save the historic building and the memories, but cheer that the church has set an example of how end gracefully.

Crazy Irish
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Crazy Irish 10/20/08 - 09:54 am
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Those who stayed and kept the

Those who stayed and kept the church going were there to fullfill a charge given to the church. Help anyone in need. The first soup kitchen was started by one of the women of the church. Before long a clothes closet. We would go into the neighborhood and check on people sing with them, pray with them and see to their needs. Not much left in the neighborhood. Those in need now find help at the Soup Kitchen and larger groups handle clothes. It was a varied collection of wonderful people and I am proud I grew up there and sad it's gone. Good Bye, Greene Street Presbyterian Church

As It Is
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As It Is 10/21/08 - 02:29 am
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What a great church that has

What a great church that has helped many in the immediate and surrounding areas over the years. I hope the building is used for good purposes in the future.

enana03
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enana03 10/21/08 - 07:05 pm
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Hopefully all the members

Hopefully all the members will find new church homes and this building of worship will go on to provide a much needed service to the community.

r11mcbell
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r11mcbell 10/22/08 - 07:36 am
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this light was there for over

this light was there for over 100 years.What a great job. There are other lights, they were established before the Lord let this light be turned off. Openyour eyes, they have been lite a long time ago. HIS timing is always perfect.

donedh
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donedh 10/22/08 - 10:03 am
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They provided a meeting place

They provided a meeting place for an Alzheimer's Support Group back in the 1990s which was greatly appreciated.

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