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Church tears down house

If things look different to you on Seminary and Main streets, don't be surprised.

A turn-of-the-century home, which was next door to the Liberty Church of Christ, was removed recently by Reynolds Service Tech.

Church member Sean Baker, who works for the company, managed the large equipment that uprooted and crushed the house, and then piled it into a dumpster. Baker said the ground was hard, but the work went pretty well, with it all completed by Saturday, Oct. 29.

Church member Gary Stang kept an eye on the work on Wednesday, and Elder Tom Wildman removed materials that were saved for salvage.

Items inside the house, like doors, ceiling fans, sinks, lighting fixtures and vanities, were donated to Habitat for Humanity in Richmond.

The congregation agreed in April to purchase the house, which has been empty for some time. The sale was completed in August, Elder Nick Tharp said.

There once were eight homes in that section of the town, from the alley to the railroad, Tharp said. The church now owns all of that property, he said.

The additional space will add more parking space and may also provide more room for outdoor activities for the many youth activities at the church.

The congregation contributed 80 percent of the cost of purchasing the house and demolishing it, all without seeking outside funds, Tharp said.

At one time, the home served as a parsonage for the congregation.

The New Testament congregation was formed in 1861 in Liberty and in 1893 moved into the church on the corner of Main Street and Seminary Street, which formerly belonged to the Presbyterian Church.

The congregation eventually outgrew that church and a new building on that plot was dedicated in 1979.