Kingfield’s Hobart Church to halt services and change focus

Rev. Larry Nielsen, pastor of Hobart United Methodist Church, 100 W. 46th St., said that the church would hold its last service Oct. 3. The preceding Sunday, Sept. 26, will be the church’s 100-year anniversary celebration.

For years, the church has been renting unused space to small businesses and for community center-type activities such as Leonardo’s Basement, an inventor’s camp for kids.

Nielsen said the church will continue to house these organizations and will expand upon them once church services cease. He said there still would be a ministry office in the building, but no services.

Nielsen, who came out of retirement in June to work at the church, said like many churches, Hobart’s congregation has been declining. He said I-35W’s construction in the mid-’60s slashed Hobart’s membership by approximately 40 percent and the numbers have dwindled steadily since.

Nielsen said the board of trustees would meet in September at the annual Conference of United Methodist Churches to sign off on Hobart’s plan.