Log In

Reset Password

Cranberry Twp. chosen as site of new Latter-day Saints temple

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will construct a temple, shown here in an artist's rendering, on Powell Road in Cranberry Township. It will be the second church temple in Pennsylvania and the first in the Pittsburgh region.
6-acre property is on Powell Road

CRANBERRY TWP — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will expand its presence in Cranberry with the construction of a temple.

The church announced Tuesday that it selected a roughly six-acre parcel on Powell Road as the site for its Pittsburgh-area temple, which will be located near its Cranberry meetinghouse at the intersection of Powell and Rochester roads. It will be the group's second temple in Pennsylvania, with the first located in the Philadelphia area.

Chris Hoke, the Pittsburgh North Stake president, said about 2,800 Latter-day Saints live in the Pittsburgh North Stake, which stretches from just outside the Pittsburgh city limits north to near Knox, Clarion County. The stake is one of three in the Pittsburgh area.

The church announced last April it would build a Western Pennsylvania temple, but had not then selected a specific site. Although the ultimate determination of where the temple would be erected was made by church leadership in Salt Lake City, Hoke said many in the region were hopeful it would be in Cranberry.

Temples are distinct from meetinghouses — of which there are three in Butler County — for two main reasons: First, while meetinghouses are open to members of the public regardless of religion, temples are reserved for faithful members of the church. Second, meetinghouses are open for Sunday services and activities throughout the week, whereas temples are sacred places of worship.

“The temple is a house of the Lord,” Hoke said. “We go and worship. We learn about Jesus Christ; we learn about His gospel. We make covenants with Him. Those who enter the temple are faithful members who live and keep the commandments and standards of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

Worldwide, there are fewer than 200 Latter-day Saints' temples that have been constructed and dedicated, with 231 temples in total that have been announced.

Dan Santoro, Cranberry Township manager, said the township thought it was one of the areas under consideration because the church acquired the 5.8-acre property on Powell Road “several years ago,” but was recently told by the church that the selection process was in progress.

He added the church has been an excellent community partner, with members volunteering to help out in the community. Hoke said that service is a major mission of the church.

“We work with them and we desire to serve in the community, so we ask them to let us know when there's a need in the community and we can serve others,” he said. “That's part of being Christian: To do Christlike service and spread Christlike love to our fellow man.”

Hoke said the Cranberry temple's benefits will stretch beyond Latter-day Saints.

“To have something here, we feel, will be a tremendous blessing for Western Pennsylvania and for Pittsburgh and for all in this area,” he said. “Not just the members of the church, but everyone.”