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Saying goodbye: 119-year-old Bristol, Tennessee church closes

More recently, that number dwindled to approximately 25 as members would pass on or move away. There was also a lack of younger people joining.

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Windsor Avenue Presbyterian is closed, following a 119-year history in the Bristol community.

"The last several years, we've been faced with declining membership," said former elder Bill Bingham.

He started attending the church 55 years ago. Those days, you would find 75 to 100 people at Sunday service.

More recently, that number dwindled to approximately 25 as members would pass on or move away. There was also a lack of younger people joining.

Then, the COVID-19 pandemic happened. 

"That sort of settled it right there, we decided to close it down and officially. It was turned over to the presbytery this past Thursday," said Bingham.

The church tried to adapt with online services during the pandemic. But it ultimately could not survive.

Former music director Terry Graybeal told us what her fondest memory at Windsor will be. 

"I think the people, the people are what really make the church," she said. 

Graybeal transferred to Windsor in 2004, with her mother and a couple of friends.

"It has been very emotional for a lot of us. It's just so sad because there's just so many people there that we love. We cherish our time together," said Graybeal.

"The fellowship, the friendship. The Wednesday night prayers and service," said Bingham. 

He also raised his four children there. "There's a lot of memories." 

Perhaps others can continue making memories there.

"We hope eventually that maybe another church will take it, and that's what happens a lot of times, even some other denomination may end up there," said Bingham.

Meanwhile, the Boys and Girls Club of Bristol continues to use a portion of the church building for activities.