Mountainside Chapel’s regular congregants are seeing an influx of new, younger parishioners, as the venerable church established in 1821 has merged with the youth-focused Liquid Church.
Services were held Sunday in the new Liquid Mountainside off Route 22, according to NJ.com.
Mountainside Chapel officials say the merger allows the church to survive while Liquid Church gains its first fixed location.
“Our kids got older, started getting married and moving away, and you lose members to death, so our numbers just kept dwindling down, to the point where it started to get a little financially difficult for us,” Joe Krasen, a church elder, told NJ.com.
“We probably had another one, two years, and then it would have been extremely difficult.”
The chapel has been remodeled and features Liquid’s sound systems and large televisions.
“As a young contemporary church, we realized that with the spiritual roots here, we’re not starting a new ministry, we are continuing a mission that’s been going on for almost 200 years,” Liquid founder Tim Lucas said.
“So we do that with a lot of humility and reverence.”