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House of worship for sale

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The Rev. Mike Derflinger, left, and Fred Boyer, chairman of the trustees of Riverton United Methodist Church, stand in front of the church’s historic chapel that is being offered for sale in Front Royal. Dennis Grundman/Daily

Riverton United Methodist Church places historic chapel on market

By Kim Walter -- kwalter@nvdaily.com

FRONT ROYAL -- Riverton United Methodist Church is putting two properties up for sale, one of which dates back to the late 1800s.

The church's original chapel, built in 1890 in a gothic revival style, includes a bell tower and 12 stained-glass windows, according to the Rev. Mike Derflinger.

The details about construction of the chapel aren't known, but Derflinger says that it might be a combination of two stories. One says that material was brought from Europe for Randolph-Macon Academy and Dellbrook Manor, and leftover bricks were used for the chapel. Another source says that materials were local, and the Lemly brothers of Strasburg helped in the process, Derflinger said.

In either case, the pastor says that the church's congregation has been meeting in the spot where the chapel stands since 1871.

Rita Rutledge, a listing broker with Weichert Realtors, said the listing price for the chapel is just under $250,000.

The other building for sale, was built in 1950, and served as the New Life House for the church from 1994 to 2000.

Before the church purchased it to use for offices and their associated Riverfront Christian School, it was a home with five bedrooms and four and a half baths.

The home is going for $231,000 and has a balcony, fireplace and a "chef's kitchen."

Fred Boyer, a member of the church and chairman of the trustees, said the church considered positives and negatives of selling the properties a little less than a year ago.

"We realized that they were causing a drain on our finances," he said, as the buildings had to be maintained and heated. "We no longer had a spiritual or feasible need for the two properties."

In December the church had a meeting to decide what to do, and ended in "a very positive decision," Boyer said.

Rutledge said that both properties have been shown, and one interested buyer looked at the chapel as a place for a music studio.

There are also three land parcels for sale that the church previously used for parking.
An open house for both properties is scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

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