West Millgrove church to close doors after 172 years PDF Print E-mail
Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Religion Editor   
Friday, 30 August 2013 09:04
The West Millgrove Church is seen August 28, 2013. The church is being closed. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
WEST MILLGROVE - Founded in 1841, the West Millgrove Congregational Church will hold its final service on Sept. 8 at 10:30 a.m.
The congregation invites friends and members and former members to attend.
Ray Gonyer, a trustee for the church, said this decision has been coming for some time.
"We've been talking about it for a year now," noting how the congregation has dwindled to six to eight people attending each Sunday.
"In the early 1970s it was a big congregation. - No problems with anything," Gonyer said.
Marie Cline, one of the members, also noted the declining membership adding, "We're all getting older."
Gonyer also alluded to the aging members, noting how many of the younger people are attending other churches.
"Even the people in West Millgrove participate in other churches," he said.
Though as he said they were down to the bare minimum in people, finances were the deciding factor as the village is installing a new sewer line.
That sewer would be very expensive for the church to hook up to the new system and smash the old.
"We just don't have the money to do that. About the only thing we can do is close up the church," Gonyer said.
He indicated the once thriving church also once served as a mother church to a church in Fostoria.
Gonyer said they have began the proceedings to hold an auction and sell the building, land and all the contents in a package.
"We are just going to sell everything, otherwise it would sit there and depreciate," he said.
The original building from 1841 still stands strong, along with an addition made in the 1960s or '70s, Gonyer thinks.
The church is the only one located in the village.
As part of the final day's events, lunch will be at noon. Meat, drinks and table service will be furnished. Those attending should bring a dish to share.
Both Cline and Gonyer are hoping that many of the former members scattered around the area might return for the final service and send the old building out with a flourish.
Last Updated on Friday, 30 August 2013 11:16

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