Well, I would, for one.
Did you see that online article a week or so ago? A couple in Maryland bought an old church, All Saints’ Church, built 120 years ago and used for worship until the ‘50s. Then it was deconsecrated and sold. It went through several owners until a couple bought it three years ago. (By the way, the wife’s name is Anastasia which is so fitting — it’s Greek for resurrection). The photos of the church-become-house are magnificent, with the stain-glass windows, soaring ceiling, beautiful exterior and other enriching details.
They say one of their biggest problems was getting furniture large enough to fit the great room, with its 25-foot ceiling. How would you like to have two gorgeous Gothic windows in your kitchen? Or how about when you step out of your bedroom with its stain-glass windows, you look out from the once-upon-a-time church balcony over the great room.
The young couple who own the church home say it will take at least another 10 years to finish the restoration and remodeling. They plan a second floor bed and breakfast room in the steeple area. I sorta wonder what they will do with the bell in the belfry; maybe ring it to call the kids to supper.
Honestly, it is a dream home, and I certainly think that is a better use for the church building than to simply sit there and eventually fall down. Now, it may be that I like the idea of making the church into a home because I’ve spent most of the 60 years of my ministry at church. Still, if you don’t feel at home at church you may have some spiritual problems.
Speaking of beautiful churches, there’s a beautiful little gem of a church building right here near Tweetsie Railroad theme park. It’s the Middle Fork Baptist Church. Yeah, it’s interesting how early Baptists named churches after geographical features; but then years ago when I was in seminary there was a Hanging Dog Baptist Church. Beat that.
Anyhow, as I was saying, Middle Fork Baptist Church is a beautiful church when you drive up to it — just a block off Highway 321 next to Tweetsie — and the interior is more inspiring. This is the church with no corners in the sanctuary, so designed on purpose so the devil couldn’t hide in the corners. I suppose over the years the congregation has come to realize that the devil can hide in the pew, in the choir and sometimes even in the pulpit.
But the trussed ceiling braces and the chandeliers add a very reverent feeling when you enter the church. I wish I could invite you to visit this little church, but during the pandemic, the folks presently attending are all we can accommodate with reasonable social distancing, etc. But jot down a memo to visit with us — I’m the interim pastor, did I say? — as soon as times are normal again. In the meantime, worship with us on Facebook at middleforkbaptistchurchblowingrock.
Everybody should turn their church into their spiritual home, don’t you think?