MAHANOY CITY, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The ticking of a clock echoes throughout the hall of the First Presbyterian Church of Mahanoy City.

Pews that were normally filled with members of its congregation are now empty.

After 162 years in the community, the church has closed.

Gary Perna, a clerk of session, said “I was baptized here, confirmed here, my wife and I were married in this church. You know knowing that next Sunday we won’t be able to come here, it was hard.”

Seven generations of Perna’s family were members. He spoke at the last service on Sunday.

Perna explains the decision to close was due to a lack of funds and low membership.

“We got to the point where we were running out of money to keep the building open and operating.”

As the church’s commission works to empty out the building in the coming weeks, many reflect on its rich history, like its mounts for gas lamps and tin walls.

“This stood through two world wars. People coming home or people never coming home from those conflicts, so a lot really we’ve seen here.”

Perna says they already have a congregation interested in purchasing the building to continue to preserve its legacy.

“We’re hopeful that this will be here for many years to come and we’re hoping that it can serve maybe you know the next group of folks who are looking for a place to worship just as our ancestors did in the 1860s.”

The hymns from its last service remain posted at the altar, songs of hope and guidance, adding to the list of memories for its congregation saying its final goodbye.