Mary Shannon and her husband Rick purchased the Fletcher United Methodist Church in Carthage in July of 2019.

The couple, who moved to Carthage four and a half years ago, re-purposed the building as a wedding venue and event center.

“When we first moved to Carthage and we saw this place was abandoned, we were like that’s too beautiful of a place to sit empty,” Mary Shannon said. “I always said if I won the lottery I was going to buy the place. I didn’t win the lottery. I retired and decided to invest in it.”

About the venue

The building, which is now known as the Marick Event Center, was built in 1897. It is located at 300 E. Third Street in Carthage.

The 7,000 square foot venue recently received a “face lift” and is prepared to host weddings, vow renewals, birthday parties, fundraisers/benefits, conferences, concerts, baby showers, class reunions, group meetings, anniversary parties and graduation parties. The event center has a reception area, full kitchen and more.

Shannon believes her prices for weddings and parties are rather competitive.

“I think we have a really good price if people just knew we were here,” Shannon said.

Weddings can be held at the Marick Event Center at a cost of $2,000. The cost includes rental of the building from Friday through Sunday morning, access to the entire reception area and kitchen and the rental of tables, chairs and linens.

Shannon will also help write up the wedding, help with the rehearsal dinner and be the officiant of the wedding (may opt for own officiant).

Those who rent the building for a wedding have ability to clean up Sunday morning.

Parties may be hosted at the event center at a cost of $35 per hour or $100 for three hours.

The Shannon’s aren’t certified caterers, but those who reserve the building can hire a caterer or cook their own food. Alcohol may be served at weddings and events if a licensed bartender is on hand serving alcoholic beverages.

The building’s ceremony area can hold up to 300 people and the reception area can accommodate 150. The venue has two parking lots with security and has a local photographer available upon request.

Shannon has many open dates for weddings and events throughout 2020. Church congregations in need of a place to worship may also contact Shannon for rental inquiries (contact information listed at end of article).

A place of community

Shannon is also a member of the Future of Carthage. The organization’s main goal is to try to help out the Carthage community.

“Ideally, one of the reasons that we bought this place is we live in a dying town and we want to try to bring some life back to it,” Shannon said. “We wanted to do something positive here.”

The Shannon’s have regularly hosted community events for Carthage residents, since opening their business in October of 2019.

The center hosts jam sessions on the second and fourth Fridays of each month for area musicians and community members. A jam session was held at the center last Friday night.

The next jam session will be held next Friday, Jan. 24. The Revival Road Quartet will also perform gospel music at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 29, at the event center.

Last October, the center hosted a Friday Night S’mores event for Carthage residents to attend.

Last December, Shannon and her husband dressed up as Santa and Mrs. Claus for local youth. Approximately 30 children baked cookies and participated in arts and crafts with Shannon.

During the event, the center collected canned goods for a food pantry at a local church.

Shannon said the Carthage community has been supportive of her business.

The Shannons had to attend a zoning meeting because their business was zoned for residential use and they needed a special exception to operate their business. A total of 37 people wrote letters of support and six individuals attended the meeting to show their support for the business.

“What we have done has been fun,” Shannon said. “The community support that we’ve had has been really great.”

For more information visit, search Your Day Your Way, Weddings by Mary Shannon on Facebook or call Shannon at 765-565-6946.

“We’re here for the long haul,” Shannon said of her business. “We own the building. We aren’t going anywhere.”

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