Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 24, 2014

Conesville church closure like ‘losing a person’

Jul 23, 2014

CONESVILLE (AP) — After 113 years, the Conesville Methodist Church is closing and some expect the historic structure in eastern Iowa will eventually be demolished.

On Saturday, church members hosted a sale of some church items. The church is for sale, too, but so far there haven’t been any offers.

Lay leader Terri Fitchner told the Muscatine Journal the closure reflects an aging congregation and no new members. There also has been a troublesome bat infestation.

“It got to be too much to take care of for us,” Fitchner said, noting that at 61, she’s the second youngest of the roughly 40 people who make up the congregation. Most are in their 70s and 80s.

“It’s a small rural community,” Fitchner said of the 440-person city. “The younger people are going to the bigger towns.”

Fitchner said most members will go to the Methodist church in Nichols, just seven miles away.

Although the building is for sale, Fitchner said she thinks it’s “doomed to destruction.”

After attending the church since the 1960s, 73-year-old Kay Hill said leaving it is difficult.

“It’s just like you’re losing a person,” Hill said.

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