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A 120-year-old church in St. Johns was sold to another congregation

Community Church St. Johns campus
Posted at 9:07 PM, Feb 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-11 21:07:11-05

The 120-year-old church on Maple Street in St. Johns, formerly known as First Congregational Church, was purchased by Community Church last month.

Community Church already has two locations in Mount Pleasant and Alma.

"We knew we had some ideas of where we could potentially launch third campuses, and St. Johns was on that list," said Community Church Executive Pastor Eric Barz.

The congregation has been "growing pretty steadily" for the past seven years," he said.

Moderator for First Congregational Church Tom Webb said his congregation is "very pleased" the building will continue to function as a church.

"I think that made it a little easier for our congregation," Webb said. "We have generations of families that have grown up in that building, and while our church will go on, the building we had to sell."

Webb said the decision was an emotional one but necessary due to dwindling attendance.

"It had dwindled several years ago, and then we kind of leveled off, and then when the pandemic hit, we saw another drop," Webb said. "When you see a drop you of course see a drop in people giving money to the church."

The building, made out of solid granite blocks with stained glass windows that are considered fine art, was put up for sale a year ago.

"We had an offer last spring from the city of St. Johns, and they had talked about possibly changing it into the city office, maintaining the integrity of the building, which was important to us," Webb said.

Though the city pulled the offer in August, Community Church bought the building last month for $150,000. 

First Congregational Church has since moved to a space in the St. Johns Lutheran Church.

"We were able to combine our Christmas Eve service with kind of a farewell," Webb said.

To start the planning process for its third location, Community Church is hosting a vision night at the St. Johns building on Sunday, Feb. 27 from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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Lauren Shields

Lauren Shields

8:25 PM, Aug 21, 2019

Your Neighborhood Reporter

Lauren Shields

FOX 47 News Neighborhood Newsletter