Lake Charles, LA – August, 18, 2009 – After 57 years of serving the people of Oak Park and the Lake Charles community, Oak Park United Methodist Church held its final worship service May 31. However, the legacy of Oak Park UMC will continue to serve the people of Calcasieu Parish for many years to come.

At the Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church held in Kenner June 7-10, Oak Park UMC Pastor Shawn Hornsby presented Terrel Deville, CEO and President of the United Methodist Children’s Home, with a check representing an endowment created for the new home, which is currently being constructed in Sulphur.

The $70,000 endowment established with the United Methodist Foundation of LA will provide an annual gift through the interest earned to the Methodist Children’s Home for Southwest Louisiana. The congregation of Oak Park UMC decided to create the endowment as they wrestled with the many decisions leading to the closing of their church.

Oak Park UMC, located at 1800 Orchid St. in the heart of the Oak Park neighborhood of Lake Charles, first opened to the public in March of 1952 under the leadership of the Rev. Theodore Weber.

After an extended period of membership decline, the congregation decided to disband but refused to go quietly into history. Members of the church’s administrative council made the decision to begin the closing process last August. The conversation around that decision led to the discussion of creating an endowment so that the church’s legacy might continue. The new children’s home to be constructed in Sulphur instantly came to mind and the congregation eagerly embraced the idea.

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