MORGAN – The Morgan United Church, built in 1843, is about to undergo major renovations.
Plans include adding 30 feet to the back of the church. The expansion means more room in the sanctuary and fellowship area. It also means adding two classrooms. The church currently has no classrooms.
“I would say this is probably the biggest project,” said Rev. Mike DeSena. Church officials were talking about expanding the building when DeSena arrived at the church 15 years ago. “This has been kind of a work in progress.”
In the past year, crews added an upstairs restroom and expanded the downstairs restroom, which made it compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The renovations are needed because of an increase in the congregation over the past decade. The church seats about 120 people, which usually fill the building, especially during summer months. The fellowship area's limited seating causes problems during heavily attended events such as funeral luncheons. DeSano would like to have a place for Sunday school where “kids can be kids.”
Local and state governing bodies recently issued permits.
Church officials are kicking off their fundraising efforts. DeSanso doesn’t know how much the project will cost. Contractors will do the framing of the addition and congregation members will do much of the interior work. The executive board put away $33,000 for the project. Several individuals made substantial gifts for the project.
“We are easily half-way there,” said DeSanso.
Church officials hope to receive more donations. They may hold dinners and concerts, as well.
They want to maintain the exterior and interior historical aspects of the church.
The renovations are not the first to take place at the church over the years. At some point, church officials closed off the choir loft. In the 1980s, crews refurbished the basement and the building and did other structural work.