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MPN Publishing building becomes a church

   
 


The long-time Mennonite publishing building in Scottdale, Pa

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MennoMedia closes on the sale of the publishing building in Scottdale, Pa., to Wellspring Church. Signing for the church is assistant pastor Ron Michaux (center). Seated next to him is church elder Cheryl Thomas. Signing for MennoMedia is Neal Weaver, a long-time employee (and second-generation worker) who was the last to transfer from Scottdale to the new MennoMedia offices in Harrisonburg, Va.

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Mennonite Church Canada/MennoMedia joint release
September 16, 2011
-Steve Shenk

HARRISONBURG, Va.— The Scottdale Pa. building that served as a long-time home to Mennonite Publishing Network (MPN), the former publishing ministry of Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA, will re-open as a church facility. The landmark building was sold to Wellspring Church on Aug. 12.

On July 1, MPN merged with Third Way Media. The new organization now occupies the former Third Way Media building at 1251 Virginia Avenue in Harrisonburg, Va. 

Some 103 years of Mennonite publishing in Scottdale, a small town east of Pittsburgh, came to an end on June 30. At one time 175 people worked in the building, located at 616 Walnut Avenue. 

The four-story, 75,000-square-foot building takes up half a block at the town’s highest point and includes three sections. The original 1908 building was torn down to make way for a new warehouse in 1980. The other sections are additions to the original building, added in the late 1920s and late 1940s.

Wellspring Church, currently located in nearby Dawson, plans to use the building for worship and outreach. The church will also rent space to small businesses and ministries.

The Scottdale branch of what is now Everence Financial, a credit union that started for MPN employees, has been a long-time renter in the building and plans to stay.

As it downsized during the past decade, MPN tried twice—in 2003 and 2008—to sell the building. The facility was valued at $600,000, but most potential commercial buyers were not interested because while the building was quite large it only included 32 parking spaces. The price that MennoMedia settled on with Wellspring Church was $125,000—slightly higher than the goal that the MennoMedia board set in April.

“Since we knew ahead of time that the building would be difficult to sell, we did not include any revenue from the sale in the business plan for the merger,” said Eanes, who served previously as MPN’s director of operations and finance. “So any amount received is a plus.”

MennoMedia is the publishing/production ministry of Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA.