Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rural church holding final service tonight

Rural church holding final service tonight
Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 12:10am
Zion 16 Lutheran Church
CORUNNA — Exactly 155 years after the adoption of its constitution, Zion 16 Lutheran Church will host its final service tonight at 7.
“It’s an old, old church,” said Jim Mason, one of the three remaining members who attend regularly. “They have all passed away, and we’ve not been successful at recruiting new members.”
Indiana-Kentucky Synod ELCA Bishop William Gafkjen will preside at tonight’s final service in the church on S.R. 327, between Garrett and Corunna.
Mason is a lifetime member of the church. He was baptized and confirmed there and has many happy memories.
“The most vivid memories are when I was in Sunday School as a young kid and as I grew up, confirmation classes,” Mason said.
Mason said he also heard stories about how the church was raised off it its foundation in the early 1940s, and his father and brothers used horses and slip-scrapers to dig a basement.
He recalled churchwide events such as picnics and trips to Pokagon State Park in the summer.
“Back at that time, we had 60 to 70 members. I can remember times when the pews were all full,” Mason said. “After 155 years, it’s a big blow to us.”
Mason said the church has the option of selling the property and already has seen some interest.
“There’s a lot of history in that church,” Mason said. “I’d like to see it remain a church, but that’s not for me to say. If someone else can put a good use to it, that‘s what should be done.”
Mason encouraged the public and anyone who has had ties to the church to attend tonight’s final service. A reception with light refreshments will take place afterward.


Nancy said...

I always think it's so sad when churches close. The church of my childhood close and went up for auction a year or so ago. Had I known in advance, I would have attended. I think there are fewer church-going people these days.

Thor said...

Thank you for your comment. This is the church of my childhood as well. I hope it goes to good hands.

Cherie and Jeff said...

I went to Vacation Bible School at this church as a kid. It will be weird thinking it isn't there when I go back "home".