|City/Town: • Lonoke|
|Location Class: • Church|
|Built: • 1916 | Abandoned: • 2005|
|Historic Designation: • National Register of Historic Places (1997)|
|Status: • Abandoned • Endangered|
|Photojournalist: • Gage Fears|
For the first time in 15 years, the doors to the First Christian Church of Lonoke were opened. In collaboration with The Lonoke County Museum, and the current owner, one of our team members were allowed to come in and photograph the building. With everything covered a thin layer of dust, this historic church has been waiting for a new breath of life while the owners are hoping to something will happen soon.
After years of the congregation having to meet in a much smaller venue, this magnificent church was built in 1916 to house their growth. The building is of a Tudor Revival architecture. The current owner is the granddaughter of the german architect. While speaking with the owner, she had mentioned that coming in to photograph the building had actually caused some of her former students to have a sort of reunion for the first time in years. This was because almost everyone in town can remember either attending church there or meeting there for special events. So many people have memories there and have shared their stories / photos on a facebook page that was created specifically to document the legacy forever. Also, due to us being there, it may have jumpstarted the idea of getting this building restored. Given that building is on the National Register of Historic Places, the hopes for a full restoration and reopening would be great to see!
As of today, the ceiling is slowly falling in, but to our surprise, this building is in a lot better shape than to be expected of a 105 year old building. Seeing as how most structures after 15 years of abandonment, it likely won’t take an astronomical amount of money to renovate and is very possible to receive historic tax credits.