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Funds Being Raised To Restore Gothic Revival Church In West Baden
Updated February 21, 2017 6:49 AM
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(WEST BADEN) - Liz Mitchell hopes to raise the funds to restore the Gothic Revival Church on Sinclair street in Springs Valley back to life.

The Town of West Baden Springs sold the 1920's church to the Southeastern District Association of the Indiana Missionary Baptist State Convention for a $1, in return for a promise that within seven years, the church will once again be home to church services.

The Herald Times reports, Rev. Anthony Toran heads up the 18-denomination organization of missionary Baptist churches, which has formed a nonprofit organization to finance the restoration.

Toran, longtime pastor of the Galatian Missionary Baptist Church in New Albany, says he will need money and is also looking for skilled workers such as electricians and drywall hangers to complete the project.

Back in 1992, First Baptist parishioner Dorothy Smith signed the deed of the 1920-built church over to the West Baden Historical Society.

The historical society had hoped to restore the building as a wedding chapel, a museum and a space for concerts and plays.

It secured a loan, and a new foundation was poured and the church got a new roof. The simple stained-glass windows were repaired. In 2007, students from a local high school building trades class replaced the drywall, which has since deteriorated due to moisture in the building; there's often standing water in the basement.

By 2014, ownership of the church had reverted back to Indiana Landmarks, a state preservation organization, which had placed the church on the National Register of Historic Places.

Earlier that year, the church's deteriorating condition put it on another list as one of the 10 most endangered historic buildings in the state.

Then came Toran and the church came off the endangered list and funds are being raised to restore the church.

Paoli attorney J.C. Tucker, of Paoli, who represents the West Baden Springs Town Council, helped broker the deal
with the charitable church and hopes by 2024 the church will once again be holding services.

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