old time church

Trends: Recycling Old Church Buildings

Why construct a new building when you can upcycle an old one?

Pastor Mike Connaway’s newly planted VLife Church hasn’t started holding official services. Yet the youthful nondenominational congregation is already embracing its new home at the previously vacant Trinity Presbyterian Church, one of the oldest church buildings in McKinney, Texas.

“All of our 20-somethings love this old building,” he said. “This reminds them of a time when life wasn’t broken.”

Across the country, old mainline and Catholic sanctuaries are finding new life as evangelical churches upcyle and renovate them for modern use, says Gary Nicholson, director of LifeWay Architecture.

Seattle-based megachurch Mars Hill made a name for itself using the warehouse-church model. Yet it recently signed a five-year lease to use First United Methodist Church in downtown Seattle, one of the oldest churches in the city. It also purchased the downtown First Congregational Church building in nearby Tacoma.

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