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South Norwalk church purchases long vacant First United Methodist

NORWALK, Conn. – The “orange church” on West Avenue has been purchased by a South Norwalk congregation, which is planning to renovate the historic landmark.

The Rev. DeWitt Stevens Jr. of Macedonia Church said he was “floating” all day Wednesday after closing on the $1.2 million purchase of the First United Methodist Church on Tuesday.

The building has been vacant for six years, Stevens said. The Norwalk Preservation Trust reports that it was deconsecrated on May 25, 2008.

“I was in there yesterday just lifting my hands up, thanking God that’s it’s done, and I got cobwebs in my face and everywhere because it’s been sitting a long time,” Stevens said.

Historical Commission Chairman David Westmoreland said he is “delighted” that the sale to Macedonia Church has gone through.

“I believe they have been working closely with Tod Bryant and the Norwalk Preservation Trust,” he said in an email. “They have been working on some grants and other funding to stabilize and restore the church. I am happy the building will continue to be used for its original function, which is that as a church.”

Stevens said a permanent home for his congregation is “long overdue.” Many of his contemporaries have left Norwalk, but he has been here “working hard for the community” for 35 years, he said.

“I just refused to leave because I know I’ve been born and raised in Norwalk and this is where God placed me,” he said. “I was determined that there was going to be room for us somewhere to call a home. Now here it is so now we’re really thankful to God just making the way for us.”

The church will be gutted and renovated, with attention and care taken to preserve its historic value, he said.

“We’re going to march from North Main Street where the police department is, where we are now, to the church when we do our big consecration and opening,” he said. “… Everybody wants to march with us, it’s really going to be a big thing, because it is very historical even for Norwalk.”

Comments

9 responses to “South Norwalk church purchases long vacant First United Methodist”

  1. John Hamlin

    Wonderful! Absolutely wonderful! Well done!!

  2. Al Raymond

    Thank you for saving a part of history here in Norwalk job well done.

  3. Peter Parker

    Wow, this is wonderful news! Now this historic church will be saved. It is a beautiful church.

  4. Maria Alarcon

    So happy to hear that this architecturally beautiful yellow brick landmark will be saved! It gives me hope to know that there are still some people with taste and love of history and architecture left in Norwalk! Bravo!

  5. Local Ed

    Honestly I wouldn’t care if they knocked it down and built something up there

  6. Suzanne

    Local Ed, I am glad you are in the minority. I have often driven by this lonely looking Church and wondered what would become of it. This is a big Yay! for Norwalk.

  7. EastNorwalkChick

    Wonderful news, so glad that they can save such a beautiful building, wish them well on the restoration of it!

  8. Norewalk Lifer

    Many good wishes! yes, it’s a beautiful building, soon to be filled with beautiful people!

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