A church built in the late 1800s has fallen into disrepair. Now a congregation is restoring it to bring new life to the old church.
(WBIR-East Knoxville) A congregation in North Knoxville has taken on a restoration project in East Knoxville. It's a way to give an old church new life.
The building itself was built in 1891.
Over the years the Park City Presbyterian Church on Linden Avenue has caught on fire and been remodeled but now it is in disrepair.
"There's a lot of charm a lot of historical value a lot of of character in the building that is original and this is probably one of the oldest churches in the city that still remains," Pastor Larry Keith said.
He leads Word of Faith church in North Knoxville. It has a diverse congregation with a connection to East Knoxville.
"The name of our church is Word of Faith. That tells you what you can receive when you come to the church to be taught the word of faith but really our goal and our mission is impact. We want to impact community and so what you'll see in here I believe is a continuance and an expansion for what we're already doing on the east side, we're already reaching out to the east side," he said.
They've assessed what needs to be repaired in this historic building. The roof is a priority.
They plan to keep as much as the original architecture as possible including a traditional organ, even though it doesn't exactly fit with the more contemporary feel of Word of Faith.
"We use an organ but it's a Hammond B-3 so we'll probably use this more for its historical value in keeping with the restoration of the building," he said.
Pastor Keith said they will probably move some of the stained glass windows and will leave others in place.
"The larger one that's behind me we'll leave. There's another large one in here that we'll use also keep in the building but many of the windows will have to be updated," he said.
The simpler stained glass windows were salvaged from the Bell Avenue Church which closed 10 years before the Park City church was built.
"To us this building and its restoration is really symbolic to the restoration of hope we want to bring to the east side of Knoxville," Pastor Keith said.
Word of Faith hopes to raise a quarter million dollars to complete restoration by the first of the year. It's an ambitious goal driven by faith and a will to give the old church new life.
"We'll see a heightened, lively group of people who are excited about not only what God has done here but what He has done in their life," he said.