Members of Lockport Mennonite Church dedicated a new gazebo-style picnic shelter in honor of a former pastor last month.
It has several picnic tables, benches, a grill, and accommodates 20 or more people.
Cliff Brubaker, interim pastor, said money to build the shelter came from gifts to the church.
“I’m really quite surprised by how many people stop by,” he said.
While he’s not sure the shelter has hosted its first picnic, it has been used as a checkpoint for runs and motorcycle rides.
The shelter, located on church property across from the Lockport covered bridge, was built in honor of Walter Stuckey, a former pastor.
He served as the pastor at Lockport for 43 years, from 1938 until 1981. He remained active in the congregation until his death in 2005.
Walter’s wife, Virgie, cut the ribbons to the entrances at the June 15 dedication ceremony.
Bill Stuckey, Walter’s son, said, “My dad cared deeply about two things that meet in this shelter. He always believed it was important for families to spend time together, and particularly for fathers to spend good time with their children.
“He loved the bridge, and grew up playing on the family farm beside the Tiffin River.”
“He would be happy if the shelter could serve to make for good family time in the outdoors,” Bill Stuckey said.
Stuckey said his father wanted the church to reach toward the community, serving in any way it could, and welcome people to join the congregation
The gazebo is open to the public year-around.