Vol. 36 No. 02 March 2019 Former churches with better missions If you see or know of any former churches that now serve a secular purpose, please send us a photo (preferably with you in it!) and a brief description of the property. Send it to [email protected]. Mark Welty sent us this photo of a former Episcopal church in Waterloo, Iowa, which is now being used by an advertising agency. Joan Reisman-Brill sent us this photo of the Limelight in New York City. The site is a former Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion, a Gothic Revival brownstone building built in 1844-1845. The building has housed numerous businesses since then, including a drug rehab house in the 1970s, an infamous disco and rock club, and in the 1990s it became a prominent place to hear techno, goth, and industrial music. In 2003, it reopened under the name “Avalon,” but closed in 2007. The building became Limelight Marketplace in 2010, but in 2014 it was converted into an outlet of the David Barton Gym chain. In June 2017, it reopened as Limelight Fitness. Life Member David Nolley sent us this photo of a former church that is now a residence, set next to dirt road about eight miles outside of Lapeer, Mich. Pete Prunkl of North Carolina sent us a photo of this former church, and writes, “The first worship service at Faith Reformed Church in Salisbury, N.C., was Nov. 18, 1898. Following the merger of the Reformed and Evangelical churches in 1934, the local congregation became First Evangelical and Reformed Church. When its new church was built in 1954, members marched about 100 yards across the street and up a hill to West Horah Street. That year, the congregation sold the old church building to the Knights of Pythias, a religious-based fraternity and secret society, for $18,000. The Knights integrated the stained-glass windows and altar into their lodge rituals. The Knights sold the building to Mona and Gianni Moscardini, and in 1994 Gianni transformed the church/lodge into La Cava Italian Restaurant.” “Crystal Connection, which replaced a lovely restaurant that was in this church, is kind of a step backward since it’s a business rooted in superstition (but the crystals are very pretty),” writes Joan Reisman-Brill. The store is housed in what was initially a Methodist church built in 1892 in Wurtsboro, N.Y. Mark Welty also sent us this photo of a former Lutheran church in Cedar Falls, Iowa, that has been remodeled into apartments. Loren Howerter sent us this photo of Blondie’s Plate in Sequim, Wash. Originally constructed in 1896, the building was formerly an Episcopalian church. “I can’t think of a better use for church buildings than conversions into restaurants and pubs!” Loren writes. Ed Sweeney, pictured, sent us this photo of the Bluestone concert hall in Columbus, Ohio, which was formerly a Baptist church built 115 years ago. Sweeney tells us that the building also can be rented for corporate events, weddings and private parties. It boasts three diverse levels, seven bars, soaring stained glass windows, and a gracious outdoor patio.