Once upon a time families worked, played and learned six days a week, and attended church on the seventh day; however, as priorities have changed, churches have suffered in their attendance numbers and the ability to maintain the expenses of the building begin to be a challenge.
On Oct. 27 the Hillsboro Christian Church will have a Celebration of Life and Ministry, and the building will be formally deactivated as a church.
Marilyn Moffett, her son Jim and Pastor Garland Pannell helped to clarify how the decision was reached to stop having services in the building.
Jim Moffett said that as priorities change the numbers dwindled.
“We’ve seen this coming for a few years,” Pannell said.”When it gets difficult to pay the bills we have, that hard decision has to be discussed.”
Over the years the attendance has dwindled to five to seven people, long time organist Marilyn Moffett said.
“I’ve watched a lot of growth, change and family from the organ bench,” Moffett said.
Jim, who is an elder in the church and has grown up in the church, describes the congregation and its past and present members as family. “This is sad, but we’re facing things realistically.”
If they didn’t make that tough decision it would have likely been a bankruptcy in the future, he said.
The first services as a church were conducted in 1874, but the history of the church showed that the funds for the church building came from offerings taken during a revival meeting, led by Luke Warren one of the circuit rider preachers of the time.
The first part of the church was built with the $3,700 raised in 1874, Marilynn shared, then in 1907, another addition was built. In 1952 Sunday School rooms were added and the Baptistry was added in 1965, according an antique ledger of handwritten notes and history.
At 2 p.m. Oct. 27, there will be one more message delivered by Pannell, the regional pastor will deliver a message and declare the building officially closed as a church, but past and present members are invited to celebrate the memories and lives that have been lived as a church family.
For any questions about the events for the day, Donna Stockdale, 765-798-6251, Marilyn Moffett, 765-234-0015, and Donna Honaker, 765-793-4328 are the church members to reach.