Saron Evangelical Lutheran, Hoquiam First Presbyterian to merge ministries

First Presbyterian Church of Hoquiam and Saron Evangelical Lutheran Church, two of the oldest churches in Hoquiam, are merging after members of both congregations voted “overwhelmingly” to join ministries.

“It’s a merger not of survival, but of mission,” said Pastor Michelle de Beauchamp of Saron. “We’re going to be one church that works toward being more active in the community.”

Both de Beauchamp and Pastor Jeani Shofner of First Presbyterian will conduct services at 10 a.m. Sunday at the Saron building on 8th Street starting in December.

“We will be worshipping together completely,” said de Beauchamp. “It’s a federated merger, so the Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Presbyterian Church of the U.S.A. are helping us put everything together.”

When joint services begin, the pastors and parishioners will decide what to do with the First Presbyterian property on K Street.

“We are not yet sure how we will use the First Presbyterian Church and lot. Those plans will take shape as we assess what community needs we can address. However, both congregations are committed to serving their neighbors. I am sure the way in which these facilities are used will reflect those values.” Said Pastor Jeani Shofner of First Presbyterian.