Historical church up for sale - WNEM TV 5

Historical church up for sale

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

After offering sanctuary for more than a century, a local church is on the market.

The Michigan Avenue Baptist Church in Saginaw has been around since 1908, but the shrinking congregation has made it too expensive to maintain. 

Church leaders said they have no choice but to sell the historic structure.

Laura Lee Strawser said she feels sad about the potential closing of the place of worship. Strawser is pastor at the church. The more than century old building was put on the market because it's just too big for a shrinking congregation.

"We need to do something," she said.

The church is for sale for $125,000. Strawser said her members would have to approve any sale by a two-thirds vote before it is finalized. She admits that could be tough, especially if residents don't know where their next service might be.

"To sell it and go nowhere or to sell it and have nothing there, I think would definitely not be a positive result," Strawser said.

She said the 9,000-square-foot church has been for sale since April. If no one purchases the chapel, her congregation could stay for at least a couple of years. She believes time is running out, and said for some parishioners, the last day of service will be heartbreaking.

"They were born here, they were baptized here, they were married here, their relatives were buried out of this church. It will be difficult," Strawser said.

So far, no one has made any offers to buy the church.

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