The 150 year old Milton Christian Church could soon be no more after the congregation voted in favour of building a new worship space.
© Brittany W. Verge
The Disciples of Christ church in Milton (also known as the Milton Christian Church) may be coming down in place of a new church. The 150 year old church requires upgrades and maintenance and the congregation has voted in favour of building anew.
The vote took place over June 22 and June 25 and the congregation of the Disciples of Christ had the choice between building a new multi-purpose worship space or upgrading the church built in 1864.
Pastor Russell Prime says it is something the congregation has been discussing for a long time.
“It was difficult for everyone,” says Prime.
Last fall the congregation created a committee to deal with decision making surrounding the church. In a press release they cited a smaller congregation as part of their decision. The church sees about 40 worshippers each Sunday. Around 62 percent of the congregation voted in favour of building anew.
Prime says there has been some discussion on using parts of the old church to build the new one.
Engineering and architectural consultants helped in the process and gave a few options for the congregation to choose from including a design for a church with multi-purpose centre and fixing the current church. The cost to upgrade was higher, but Prime could not comment on a dollar figure.
Prime says the church board hasn’t met since the vote and he has not yet been able to gage the feeling of the congregation.
The Disciples of Christ started as a congregation in Milton around 1834. They shared a church with several congregations in a now vacant area across the street from the church. The church itself was built in 1864, making it 150 years old this year.
Prime believes the church was built and funded mainly by congregation members in the 19th century such as Sylvanus Morton and other locals that were able to sponsor such a large project.
The church has had a few changes over the years including adding a balcony and in more recent years the addition of a kitchen and bathrooms in the basement of the church.
“It’s actually used a lot by the community,” says Prime regarding the basement of the church.
Many groups use the church as a meeting spot and to host events.
Prime says his role as minister of the congregation however is to not take a side on the issue.
“That means being open and meeting with people with concerns from a spiritual perspective,” says Prime. “We want to stay unified no matter what process we go through and that’s my main aim, to keep us together.”
Details on the exact costs, timeline, the issues with the current church, and other factors will be revealed as the congregation moves forward.