Capitol Street is home to several big, old churches. As the community around them has changed, most of the churches have been abandoned by their original congregations. This often leads to these beautiful buildings becoming deteriorated and eventually collapsing or having to be torn down. The old Central Presbyterian Church was spared that fate and has, instead continued to be a beacon of hope and love even after the congregation relocated.
Stewpot Community Services has operated out of the Central Presbyterian Church since its inception in 1981. When the church stopped using the building, Stewpot continued to operate out of the church and eventually was given the building in 2004. By 2006, they were in desperate need of a new lunch room. The current one was too small and was not accessible to people with disabilities.
The sanctuary part of the church that was not being used was also in serious need of repairs and without them, there was a real chance it would be lost.
That’s when Stewpot’s board made the decision to renovate the sanctuary into a lunch room and community space. Over the next few years funds were raised and work was begun. Great efforts were made to keep the beauty of the sanctuary (vaulted ceilings, chandeliers) while also making it functional. To be suitable for its new use, the interior floor had to be demolished, the pieces removed, and a new flat floor poured. Additionally, asbestos had to be removed, a new roof installed, drains and water, electric, phone and cable lines installed. The kitchen/ dining area as well as other renovations to be constructed later were designed by CDFL (Cooke Douglass Farr Lemons).
Now, the sanctuary’s beauty has been preserved, both inside and out, the community has a safe, accessible place to eat and it continues to be a beacon of hope and love.
Stewpot is located at 1100 West Capitol St.