This old church in McAllister, Montana is a treasure! The bell in the dome still rings, though the organ in the church no longer plays and the roof and foundation of it are compromised. It needs a lot of TLC.
Its history goes back to 1885 – when the land was gifted to the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1887 the structure was completed. It was transferred to the Presbyterian Church (where Bob & I are members) in 1952.
We (as a congregation) love this old church, and many of our members, their friends, and their grandparents or parents or children or grandchildren have been married or baptized there.
Preserving precious old churches such as this one is an ongoing responsibility. It is costly and time-consuming. Respect for what it was and how it served its community in decades past keep us loving those old buildings.
Here are a few others that are treasures in their communities. If only they could talk!
Sadly abandoned old church
Is God still in there?
In many ways Matthew chapter 16
is a chapter about the church.
Jesus was the first to mention the church.
He only mentions the church twice,
and both times are here in the book of Matthew.
In Matthew 16:18 Jesus said,
“And I say unto you,
That you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church;
and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
This is the first time that Jesus used the word church.
He used the word church only twice,
so it is good to know exactly what Jesus taught about the church.
It may be that the things that Jesus taught about church
are the things that are the most important to know about it.
Church is a place to trust in God’s promised presence
( Matthew 18:20)
as we worship Him together,
out of a sense of love and obedience
( Colossians 3:16 ).
When the church is functioning biblically,
it’s more active and alive when the seats are empty,
and the community is filled with those
seeking to activate the gospel in love for each other.
Many of these old churches were also home
to the cemeteries that bear the tombstones
of its deceased members.
What a shame to allow them to
deteriorate and collapse.
But, who has the money
for restoration and maintenance?
Weekly church attendance is down in our society today.
It sometimes downplayed into a legalistic ritual.
According to Pewforum.org, 61% of churchgoers
attend to feel closer to God,
while a sizable majority of non-churchgoers
state they practice their faith in other ways.
Which is the right way?
Modern society may beg us
to believe the choice is ours,
but biblical truth is clear
about going to church.
Jesus Christ seeks in earnest
to meet us on a day set aside
to commemorate His defeat of death,
to equip us to sustain our faith until He returns.
I am so grateful for my friends
who sit in the pews with me every Sunday.
Indeed, they help me sustain my faith.
Old churches remind us of the
value placed on weekly worship
in communities gone by.
Let’s all work to keep our churches
vibrant, healthy, and inviting.
Don’t let it become a place of ruin!
Oh the church in the valley
Is a place I know so well…
Listen to Jim & Jesse
sing to you about it:
Do you have a little old white church in your history?