Century Christian Church closes | New
Sunday was the last service for Century Christian Church at 1301 Tamarack Road.
Reverend Betty Sivis, who has pastored the church for the past four years, said there were several factors such as its smaller and older members that caused the church to decline, but c It is the COVID-19 pandemic that has accelerated the shutdown.
Upon arriving in January 2017, Sivis said the church, which can seat around 200 people, then averaged 60 people on Sundays.
“It’s an aging congregation for just over 20 years and it was starting to catch up with them financially,” Sivis said. “And we really couldn’t resist the pressure on finances from COVID. We had to take care of some things with the building which also hurt us. So it was just the perfect storm of things that added to our duty to admit that we weren’t able to continue financially. “
Century Christian Church is a Disciples of Christ denomination, which began in western Pennsylvania and Kentucky in the 1800s, according to its website – disciples.org.
“The disciples have a long tradition of openness to other Christian traditions that began as a 19th century protest movement against denominational exclusivity. At the local level and beyond, Disciples are frequently involved in cooperative and ecumenical work, ”its website says.
Century the Christian church was a church plant 61 years ago by First Christian Church, which will now be Christ’s disciples of Daviess County.
Chris Michael, pastor of First Christian Church, said the two congregations are not merging, but it is likely that some Century members will make First Christian at 700 JR Miller Blvd. their new church.
“We welcome any of their space who would come here, but I think they will have others who go elsewhere,” Michael said. “… I think they’re like a lot of other places – and it’s not just the disciples – where people have gone or stopped going to church. I think it hurt them to lose them and then the pandemic did what it did to a lot of congregations which kind of kicked them out. “
According to Sivis, Century Christian Church has created a planning team that will be responsible for selling the assets and property of the church.
Although the church’s properties are tax exempt, the Daviess County Property Assessment Office lists the 5.3 acres and its church at over $ 1.462 million.
“The plan is to take the assets, including what comes from the sale of the property, and create some kind of long-term investment that will benefit local missions,” Sivis said.
As for Sivis herself, she asked for another church call but so far she has had no luck.
“Unfortunately, there are a lot of churches across the country going through the same things, so there really aren’t a lot of open chairs,” she said.
In the meantime, she plans to return home to Ashland.
“I have always known that churches are not permanent,” Sivis said. “They live and die like everyone else. And my constant message throughout this process is that we are a people of the Resurrection. So whatever deaths come and go in our lives, they will never be the end of the story. “