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Pastor crafts miniature replica of church as new Little Free Library in Eleanor

By Carlee Lammers, Staff Writer
CHRIS DORST | Putnam Review
Eleanor Presbyterian Church Pastor John Yeager and wife Debbie show off the books available at the Little Free Library he built in front of the church.
CHRIS DORST | Putnam Review Eleanor’s first Little Free Library was built and installed in front of the Eleanor Presbyterian Church.
CHRIS DORST | Putnam Review Eleanor Presbyterian Church dedicated the Little Free Library at a noontime ceremony on June 18.

Debbie and the Rev. John Yeager call it their church’s “mini me.”

Outside of Eleanor Presbyterian Church stands an almost exact replica of the 64-year-old building.

But it isn’t just a model of the church. The “mini me” is a Little Free Library — something the two are hoping will be a new way to connect their church to the Eleanor community.

“I read recently where another Little Library was started in Huntington. We live in Huntington, and I saw that and I thought, ‘Well, that’s really neat,’” Debbie Yeager said. “I thought we could do that, too. Why don’t we do that in Eleanor, there’s nothing here like that.”

And so the idea for Eleanor’s first Little Free Library was born.

Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that aims to build community, inspire a love of reading and spark creativity. Those who wish to start a Little Free Library in their community are free to build or purchase their own “Little Library,” register it with the organization and share it with their community.

Little Free Libraries give the community 24/7 access to books. Readers can select a book and return it at a later date, exchange one book for another or simply take a book for keeping.

“There are no rules,” Debbie Yeager said, smiling.

The 21-member church dedicated the library after its Sunday service June 18.

The Yeagers, along with members of their church and community, have been searching for and contributing dozens of books to stock the library with.

Books range in topics from books for children and novels, to books on health, addiction and even golf.

“This is our church’s way of giving back to the community. To really promote, sharing, caring and love with everybody,” Debbie Yeager said. “We’re trying to cover from A to Z. We want to have something for everybody.”

John Yeager, who has pastored since 2015, built the library himself.

The library is painted white, includes a bright red door, similar detailing to the actual church and roof shingles — all made exactly like the church building located on Eleanor Circle. A watertight door on the side of the structure opens up to the dozens of books available for free.

“We dedicated it on Father’s Day, which was kind of appropriate, because now the church has a mini me,” John Yeager said.

The library has already had several visitors and continues to grow.

Debbie Yeager said she has seen several children stop by to pick out books — some even bringing new books to share.

The library is just another way the church is aiming to serve the community it loves, John Yeager said.

“Our mission is to be a community-based, inclusive faith community,” he said. “This is really part of our extended ministry. We have AA here, we have Weight Watchers here, we have a food pantry collection, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts. We want to be that church. That church that is inclusive and welcoming.”

For more information on Little Free Libraries and to see a map of locations nearby, visit littlefreelibrary.org.

For more information on the church, visit “Eleanor Presbyterian Church” on Facebook.

Reach Carlee Lammers at Carlee.Lammers@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-1230 or follow @CarleeLammers on Twitter.


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