Allegheny East Conference
Opens New Headquarters
BY TAASHI ROWE, Columbia Union Visitor
More than 1,200 people were on hand Sunday October 3 to celebrate the grand opening of the new Allegheny East Conference office in Pine Forge, Pennsylvania.
BREAK THE RIBBON: (left to right) AEC secretary Henry Fordham, CUC President Dave Weigley, GC President Ted. N.C. Wilson, AEC President Charles Cheatham, GC Vice president Ella Simmons, and AEC treasurer Lawrence Martin officially open the new headquarters. [PHOTO: Joshua Martin]
Named the Cheatham Administrative Complex, the building commemorates service of W.L. Cheatham, the last president of the Allegheny Conference; and Charles L. Cheatham, the current Allegheny East Conference President (AEC). The $8 million, 41,574-square-feet structure unites the conference’s 40 offices and adds an auditorium, exercise facilities, and a state-of the art boardroom.
The grand opening drew people from all corners of the conference’s borders and beyond, including members who arrived by busloads. Among the special guests were former AEC presidents and staff; General Conference President Ted N.C. Wilson, and Columbia Union President Dave Weigley, who bestowed congratulations and blessings.
“Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! Thank You Jesus!” exclaimed Cheatham acknowledging the members whose sacrificial giving made the building possible. “To the members of Allegheny East Conference: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you … for your faithfulness, your dedication.”
With the old facility built around 1945, many believe the new facility was long overdue. Plans for a new office building has been in the works since the early 1990s, but were put off to financially support Pine Forge Academy.
William Niles, a member of the Ebenezer church in Philadelphia and chair of the new office’s building committee, noted that the building received considerable input from constituents. “This building is modern, energy-efficient and has ample capacity for all the functions of the conference with room for growth,” he said.
“This [building] is a legacy to the many presidents, administrative officers, pastors, directors, educators and members who down through the years have consistently demonstrated the spirit of sacrifice and have set the standard of excellence in ministry both for their conference and the church in North America,” said Kibble, now a vice president for the North American Division.
PRIMED FOR MINISTRY: The new Allegheny East Conference headquarters.
Dave Weigley noted that the conference’s executive committee decision to name the building after the two Cheatham presidents was an “affirmation of the value they have given to the conference and people of God.”
Carol Wallington, a member of the Emmanuel-Brinklow church in Ashton, Maryland., found the proceedings, “very elegant, organized and the building itself very representative of the great Allegheny East Conference.” The Allegheny East Conference is the largest among the eight conferences of the Columbia Union with a membership that tops 44,000 and $19 million in tithe.