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|Holy Communion||11:00 am|
In March 2003, we Lutherans purchased “as is,” leaky roof and all, what locals call the old EUB Church. It was also the chapel of the Shenandoah College and Conservatory of Music which was in Dayton until 1960 when the institution moved to Winchester. Through the years, the old church had various tenants as well as vacancies. It experienced periods of neglect resulting in deterioration. Since the 2003 purchase, our congregation has completed several renovation projects such as the restoration of the building’s stained glass windows, the installation of a bathroom on the main floor, adding a kitchenette, and exterior painting. For a detailed account of improvements/additions, see the 2003 Annual Report of the Congregation “Property Time Line” on pages 16-18 and 2006 Annual Report of the Congregation “Property Highlights” on page 27.
A considerable investment has been made in preserving this beautiful, historic church that is an area landmark. For example, in November 2003, we hired Higgins & Associates, from Front Royal, Va., to restore the stained glass which was in bad need of repair. They also installed protective glass coverings. The project encompassed several years of work beginning with the Main Street side windows (2003-2004), the College Street side windows (2006), and finally the Laundromat side windows (2009).
Another major project which we have waited long for, and prayed hard for, the day to arrive is the roof replacement project. A decade after purchasing the historic building, our small congregation has finally been able to scrounge up the funds. On September 12, 2013, Hartz Roofing from Monterey, Va., began the work. They are starting to replace the slate roof which covers the oldest section (two thirds) of the church with a price tag of nearly $58,000; a figure that the congregation is a couple thousand shy of meeting now. Nevertheless, members are stepping out in faith. We would love to include in the job the existing standing seam galvanized (tin) metal roof that covers one-third of the building. This section of roof would add another $10,000. However, the additional job would be cheaper to complete now rather than saving it for a later date. What kind of roof is being installed? Putting slate back on would prove to be cost prohibitive and too heavy as well. Therefore, we chose to install a standing seam pre-painted metal roof. The charcoal gray color will match the old slate.
The Harrisonburg, Va., "Daily News-Record" newspaper gave us printed coverage of the roof project on the Religion page (B5) of the Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, issue. The article is entitled "Slated For Repair" and includes photos.
Once the roof project is complete, we hope to tackle other projects. From the very beginning, the renovations have been done in stages due to the small size of the congregation and limited financial resources. Obviously, the damaged parts of the wood ceiling caused by the roof leaks will have to be fixed along with sanctuary tile repair. Climate control needs have to be addressed. The old church has no air conditioning in the summer and the oil furnace causes the winter fuel bills to be exceedingly costly. There is some brick and mortar pointing work to be done and the basement remains untouched. In addition, the 1927 Moller four-manual pipe organ asks that we not forget about it.
Those interested in seeking more information about the congregation’s efforts at historic building preservation, or wishing to donate, may contact the church. Thank You and May God Bless You.
Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church
229 Main Street, P.O. Box 220
Dayton, Virginia 22821