STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) — Struthers United Methodist Church was started in 1886. The building on Sexton Street opened in 1911, but the end is near. The church is closing, and it’s not at all pleased with how the decision was made.

Struthers United Methodist Church has an incredible history. Stained glass windows, a unique design inside and a history of community service. But last Sunday, Pastor Doug Theobald received a letter right before service that read the church was closing.

“It appears that the United Methodist Church has deemed our church is not a vital church and necessary any further,” said Pastor Theobald. “We serve no purpose.”

The church had a conversation at the cross with the United Methodist leadership. A Wednesday night service was started to reach people who don’t worship on the weekends. The local members voted not to close, but the bishop set a final worship service on May 21.

“We’re a small church and we’re not going to be mighty in hundreds of people but the 40 or 50 people that are here, work tirelessly to serve this community,” said Pastor Theobald.

Struthers United Methodist has a tasty Sloppy Joe recipe that was a big hit at the Canfield Fair for 60 years. It raised money to send teens on service projects in five states. In North Carolina, they aided two sisters who had been praying for help. Their home was filled with mold after a hurricane.

The teens are going on another trip this summer. The denomination didn’t feel it was enough.

“In this day and age, when the world seems to explode in so many different directions, why would you close a church when we need a church more than anything?” wondered Pastor Theobald.

The congregation is hurt, feeling the process has not been fair. It’s been a challenging time and it’s trying to find words of comfort in a time of adversity. The church has just four Sunday services remaining.

“There are people who have been in this church 70 years, they’ve watched their children be baptized, they’ve been married here. And now it has been taken from them, and that’s the way they feel — taken,” expressed Pastor Theobald.

There’s no way to appeal the decision. The church plans to vote this weekend to affiliate with another church and serve the community. Pastor Theobald said the Lowellville United Methodist Church is also being closed.