Narberth United Methodist Church's congregation has decided to sell the property and attend St. Luke United Methodist Church in Bryn Mawr instead, and the effect will extend well beyond the walls of both buildings.
The 1-acre church property at Essex and Price avenues will go on the market within a week for an asking price of $1.7 million, said Narberth real estate agent John Duffy.
Members voted just before Easter to merge with another church and were soon welcomed by St. Luke, said Narberth UMC pastor Lydia Munoz.
The United Methodist Church will discontinue the Narberth charter in May 2013, which means services must end by then. St. Luke pastor David Tatgenhorst said he expects the changeover to happen close to February 2013.
A Narberth congregation that used to number in the hundreds has dwindled to about a dozen regular attendees, Munoz said. A new, more progressive congregation called Plumbline began in the church in 2009 and has about 30 to 40 regular attendees.
Munoz is pastor to both congregations; at St. Luke, she will conduct separate services for Plumbline while members of the original congregation can join their St. Luke counterparts for Tatgenhorst's services.
About 75 percent of all Narberth congregation members, Munoz said, are planning to make the eventual switch to St. Luke, which stands three miles away.