WORTHINGTON - A presentation to Nobles County commissioners Monday morning by new library director Marjorie Ferguson mischaracterized the church’s plans for its Clary Street parish, according to the Rev. Galen Smith. He said the church building is not for sale.
The idea that it is, isn’t a new one, Smith said Wednesday morning, noting in the four years he’s led the parish, he’s been approached by two different churches in town who were interested in the building and read a city council member’s quote in The Globe within the past two years saying the church was for sale.
In addition, the church twice has provided tours to Nobles County Library directors - once when previous director Clint Wolthuizen was looking at options in the community, and most recently, when Ferguson toured the building and then brought her staff in for a second tour last week.
“What I’ve always said is we would consider, if someone wanted to talk about it,” Smith said. “If you’re interested, come and talk with us and we’ll have a conversation.”
Smith told his church board that the library director was really interested in the building, but that’s the only discussion that has taken place.
“We want to use our building the best we can,” he said. “If it is appropriate, we might consider selling it. We’ve never said the building is for sale.
“Before we could even sell it, we would need the congregation’s permission and the Presbytery’s permission,” Smith said.
The primary reason the church would consider selling the building is use of space.
“When this building was built in 1960 - when it opened - we had a membership of 900 members,” Smith said. “It was built for a congregation that large. We don’t have a congregation that large (today), and so we don’t use all of the building.
“We’re always looking for ways we can use the building more. That’s why the food pantry is here. That’s why we have another congregation here using the space for worship.”