Century Christian Church Closing | News


Sunday was the final service for Century Christian Church at 1301 Tamarack Road.

Reverend Betty Sivis, who has pastored the church for the past four years, said there were several factors such as its smaller and older membership that caused the church to decline, but c It was the COVID-19 pandemic that accelerated the shutdown.

When he arrived in January 2017, Sivis said the church, which seats about 200 people, then averaged 60 people on Sundays.

“It’s been an aging congregation for just over 20 years and it was starting to catch up with them financially,” Sivis said. “And we really couldn’t withstand the pressure that was put on finances because of COVID. We had a few things we needed to take care of with the building that also hurt us. So it was just the perfect storm of things that made us admit that we were unable to continue financially.

Century Christian Church is a Disciples of Christ denomination, which began in western Pennsylvania and Kentucky in the 1800s, according to its website – disciples.org.

“The Disciples have a long heritage of openness to other Christian traditions, having originated as a 19th century protest movement against denominational exclusivity. At the local level and beyond, Disciples are frequently involved in cooperative and ecumenical work,” its website states.

Century Christian Church was a church planted 61 years ago by First Christian Church, which will now be the only Disciples of Christ denomination in Daviess County.

Chris Michael, pastor of First Christian Church, said the two congregations are not merging, but it is likely that some Century members will make First Christian, at 700 JR Miller Blvd., their new church.

“We welcome anyone from their space who would come here, but I think there will be others who will go elsewhere,” Michael said. “…I think they’re like a lot of other places – and it’s not just Disciples – where people have changed or stopped going to church. I think it hurt them to lose them, and then the pandemic did what it did to a lot of congregations, which kind of pushed them out.

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According to Sivis, Century Christian Church has established a planning team that will be tasked with selling church assets and property.

Although the church properties are tax-exempt, the Daviess County Property Assessment Office lists the 5.3 acres and its church at over $1.462 million.

“The plan is to take the assets, including what comes in for the sale of the property, and create some sort of long-term investment that will benefit local missions,” Sivis said.

As for Sivis herself, she has been looking for another church calling, but so far has been unlucky.

“Unfortunately, there are a lot of churches across the country going through the same things, so there really aren’t a lot of open pulpits,” she said.

In the meantime, she plans to return home to Ashland.

“I’ve always known that churches aren’t permanent,” Sivis said. “They live and die like all things. And my constant message throughout this process is that we are a resurrection people. So whatever deaths come and go in our lives will never be the end of the story.


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