A three-year program is providing congregation leaders throughout the state with training to help develop restoration programs to save aging houses of worship. Indiana Landmarks has identified the first 10 participants in its Sacred Places Indiana iinitiative. The churches in need of revitalization pepper the state map and involve a range of religious denominations. Sacred Places Indiana Director David Frederick began scouting sites in June and has visited around three dozen congregations. He tells Inside INdiana Business communities have a stake in the fate of these old buildings because of the services they provide.
The program is funded through a $1.2 million grant from Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. and is a partnership between Indiana Landmarks and Partners for Sacred Places in Philadelphia.
The congregations (listed with religious denomination and city) involved in the first group of the Indiana program are:
- North Christian Church – Disciples of Christ – Columbus
- Saint Athanasius – Byzantine Catholic – Indianapolis
- Gethsemane – Episcopal – Marion
- Main Street – United Methodist – Muncie
- Second Baptist – Baptist – New Albany
- Saint Paul’s – United Methodist – South Bend
- United Hebrew Congregation – Jewish – Terre Haute
- Bethlehem Healing Temple – Pentecostal – Gary
- Central Christian – Disciples of Christ – Lebanon
- Saint Alban’s – Episcopal – Indianapolis
Each of the eight-to-10 churches selected to be involved in the program will receive training in fundraising and community building and could be eligible for grants focused on feasibility studies, fundraising assessment and planning and capital improvements. It will also involve mapping out visions for the future of the properties and assisting with fundraising and membership growth strategies.
Fredericks says the program will also work to help church leadership and congregations recognize the historic churches are more than places to worship, they are also assets for the community.
You can connect to more about the Sacred Places Indiana nitiative by clicking here.
Frederick outlines the scope of the program, which he says represents “a lot of need” and has generated a great deal of interest.