If you’ve driven along W. Capitol Street lately, you’ve notice something that is almost painful to watch. The former Capitol Street Methodist Church is crumbling. So much so that part of it has already fallen into the dirt (or shall we say concrete). Barricades are up to protect pedestrians and a fence will be installed to keep those pedestrians safe from the inevitable fall of the building.
So what’s next? Voice of Calvary Ministries was granted use of and, ultimately, ownership of the building several years ago. Phil Reed, the organization’s Executive Director, estimates that it would take $6 million to shore up the structure for reuse–money the organization does not have. The company through which the building is insured is currently making arrangements for complete demolition of the structure. Citing safety concerns of the building’s possible collapse, Phil has indicated that the city suggests the same course of action.
Phil is hoping that the bricks from the old Methodist church can be salvaged and reused for other purpose. That sounds much better than the alternative option of wrecking the building and hauling its remnants to the city dump. Regardless what happens, it’s sad to see a building with so much potential die of natural causes. And while its stained glass windows were long gone, the church still possessed some gorgeous wooden pews. With its balcony and sliding walls (used to adjust the number of seats in the sanctuary), its safe to say that they don’t make churches like this anymore…and they probably never will.
For more details on the former Capitol Street Methodist Church, along with photos of the building’s current condition, visit the blog of our friends at Preservation in Mississippi.