120 year old St. John’s Church sold to another parish

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

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

“We knew we had some ideas for where we could potentially open a third campus, and St. Johns was on that list,” said community church executive pastor Eric Barz.

The church has “grown pretty steadily” over the past seven years, he said.

First Congregational Church moderator Tom Webb said his congregation was “very pleased” that the building would continue to function as a church.

“I think that made it a little bit easier for our community,” Webb said. “We have generations of families who grew up in this building, and while our church continues, we had to sell the building.”

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

“It had gone down a few years ago, and then we kind of leveled off, and then when the pandemic hit, we saw another decrease,” Webb said. “Of course, when you see a decrease, you see a decrease in people giving money to the church.”

The building, made of solid granite blocks with stained glass windows considered art, went up for sale a year ago.

“We had an offer from the City of St. Johns last spring and they had been talking about potentially converting it into a city office to preserve the integrity of the building, which was important to us,” Webb said.

Although the city withdrew the offer in August, the community church bought the building for $150,000 last month.

The First Congregational Church has since moved into a room in St. Johns Lutheran Church.

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

To begin the planning process for its third location, the Community Church will host a vision night on Sunday, February 27 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the St. Johns building

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