Dwindling attendance by an more and more aged congregation at a historic Alabama church has prompted the tough choice to shut its doorways for good, with the ultimate worship service held this Sunday after 182 years.
“There’s a sure unhappiness,” mentioned Sharon Eich, lay pastor of 5 Mile Presbyterian Church in Birmingham. She mentioned the congregation “has been such a beacon to the neighborhood for therefore lengthy,” al.com reported Friday.
There have been about 40 church members when Eich grew to become lay pastor in 2002. Now it is all the way down to about 9.
CONSERVATIVE PRESBYTERIANS LAY OUT WHY MAINLINE COUSINS ARE LOSING MEMBERS: ‘SUPERNATURAL BATTLE’
“A lot of the congregation is of their 80s,” she mentioned. “It’s simply time.”
The white clapboard church, full with a bell tower, was in-built 1880. Nonetheless, Eich mentioned it holds simply 30 individuals and lacks trendy facilities corresponding to air-conditioning or loos.
When the congregation was based in 1841 — 30 years earlier than town of Birmingham — it was in a rural space. Birmingham has since expanded, bringing the church inside metropolis limits.
Earlier than Sunday’s remaining service, there might be a historic presentation by College of Georgia Professor John Knox, son of the late Rev. Harold Knox who led the congregation from 1963-1999.
CLICK TO GET THE Alokito Mymensingh 24 Alokito Mymensingh 24P
The church and an adjoining Civil Conflict-era cemetery might be positioned in a belief. A 1958 brick sanctuary and fellowship corridor might be owned by a Presbyterian administrative unit, and can probably be offered to a different congregation.
“It’s such an exquisite, loving congregation,” Eich mentioned, “that has been a blessing in my life.”