This fall, State College will have two Mormon churches in town. The first chapel is located on Whitehall Road, which is a bit of a drive for most students. The new chapel, currently under construction, is on East Beaver Avenue downtown near the White Loop stop before the Meridian.
According to Craig Done, State College LDS Coordinator, the impetus of the construction was due to the rising number of Mormons in the State College area.
Stephen Worthington, President of the Latter Day Saints Student Association (LDSSA), said in the last four years, attendance at their Sunday spiritual worship in Pasquerilla Spiritual Center has risen 56 percent, from 41 in September 2009 to 64 in September 2013. That doesn’t include the students who attend services off campus.
For the LDSSA however, this is a exciting development.
“We’re very excited to have a space to call our own, especially given our ongoing, rapid growth,” said Worthington. “LDS buildings are designed to reflect LDS beliefs in a loving God, and we look forward to the increased visibility the new building will bring to the LDS presence at Penn State. We hope the new building raises interest in LDS beliefs, and we will open our doors and welcome in Penn State’s diverse community, just as that community has been so welcoming to us.”
In the fall, the State College LDS community will hold an open house at the new building to introduce the building to the community and answer questions.
The chapel on Whitehall Road will also host an event in April, which is open to the public, to discuss “the purpose of life, where we’re going, and why we’re here.”
The Beaver Avenue site broke ground in August 2013.