Written by Chris Boyle Friday, 13 September 2013 00:00
Pastor Gunshik Shim’s career has spanned more than 25 years; while he has only been the spiritual leader of Farmingdale United Methodist Church for little over a year now, in that short time he has already grown to love the community surrounding it very much.
“I’m very delighted to serve the Farmingdale congregation,” he said. “The people here are very warm and friendly and I’ve enjoyed being pastor here.”
Shortly after being appointed to his position, Shim noticed that the church, first constructed back in 1926, had fallen into a state of disrepair and was in dire need of significant renovations.
“The church had had general up-keeping done, but it was apparent that we needed to do some major work to get things to the state that we wanted them to be in,” he said. “We really wanted to improve things inside of the sanctuary.”
With that in mind, a construction company began the task of transforming the interior of the church on July 1, with work lasting approximately six to seven weeks; masses were held in the basement area of the church’s Fellowship Hall in the interim.
“The major renovations were new walls and painting of the entire interior area,” he said. “We also put in new carpet and the floors were sanded and re-finished. The pews were removed, polished and re-finished. They washed and cleaned the ceiling and the windows, and there were some issues with water leaking through the main stained glass window behind the altar, so that was sealed and fixed as well.”
The members of the church pitched in and helped, Shim said, raising significant funds to make the renovation of their house of worship a reality.
“The renovations cost a little over $30,000,” he said. “There were existing funds to cover the expenses, but the congregation started a fundraising drive to replenish that fund.”
Karen Gierie Newman, publicity chair for the church, said she was astounded by the quality of the makeover that the church had received.
“I loved it before, I love it even more now,” she said. “A member of our congregation named Bill Jones oversaw the project, and it’s beautiful...they did a fantastic job.”
The new sanctuary is a significant boon to Farmingdale United Methodist Church, which has a history of giving back to the community; they provide free hot breakfasts to homeless people every Sunday morning, run an adult day-care service for seniors every Monday through Friday, and operate a thrift shop where people can purchase low-cost clothing and other items.
Shim said that the church members were quite pleased with the results of construction, which had provided them with a beautiful new church as good as the day it was originally built—even better, in fact.
The congregants are so happy to see the new shape of the sanctuary,” he said. “Even the light bulbs have been replaced with LED bulbs, which are much brighter and more efficient. Everything is just so nice and wonderful now.”