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Automobile Enthusiasts Gather for Cars and Coffee at Crossroads Church in Franklin Lakes, NJ

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Photo: Dean Melchoir, pastor of Crossroads Church

By Tom Campisi

Cars at the Crossroads, hosted by a Franklin Lakes church, has gained serious traction among local automobile enthusiasts since it was launched this spring.

The large parking lot of Crossroads Church, on the corner of Summit and Franklin Avenues, is the meeting place on the second and fourth Saturday of the month for coffee, bagels and donuts, and conversations centered on a wide variety of classic and modern cars. Attendees come from Franklin Lakes and other local towns; some come from towns like Oak Ridge. In most recent events, upwards of 80 cars filled the parking lot and spilled over into the fields.

Cars at the Crossroads was started to foster community around a common interest.

“There are so many old car and new car enthusiasts around,” said Dean Melchoir, pastor of Crossroads Church. “We wanted to serve the community, meets lots of new friends, and gather with old friends. The church is a community that is centered around Jesus and many times car guys are part of that community too!”

Melchoir, a lifelong car enthusiast, launched Cars at the Crossroads, continuing a fourth-generation family tradition. His great-grandfather was one of the first New Jersey driver’s license holders and was written up in The Record as such in the 1950s and went on long tours in that time. His grandfather’s son Orville owned Carburetor and Ignition Repair in Hackensack. Dean’s father Lou was the owner of a Corvette parts and restoration business.

“The idea for Cars at the Crossroads actually traces back to a mutual ‘car’ friend of my father and mine who is a Franklin Lakes resident,” Melchoir said. “It’s been wonderful. People are enjoying conversation and each other at least as much as checking out the cars.”

Cars at the Crossroads is held on the second and fourth Saturday of the month from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. (through September). Church at the Crossroads is located at 649 Franklin Ave., Franklin Lakes, NJ. For information, visit https://www.crossroadscfl.com/.