Evansville church holds first Easter service in new building

St. Paul’s United Church of Christ relocated in January after nearly 130 years of service
Evansville church holds first Easter service in new building
Published: Apr. 17, 2022 at 6:46 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Easter Sunday in 2022 was extra special for one Evansville church, as it was their first Easter service in their new location after being at their previous one for over 130 years.

When 14 News previously reported on St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in January, their congregation was getting ready to make a move because they needed to downsize.

Zion Evangelical United Church of Christ took the congregation in when they needed a place to go.

St Paul’s United Church of Christ had its last service at their Michigan Street chapel in January. After an emotional goodbye to their previous church home, the congregation moved to their new one downtown.

St. Paul’s Church Council President Bill Barrett had some worries about if the congregation would stay together.

“We were afraid that we’d probably lose half but we haven’t,” said Barrett. “Our attendance to the surprise of all of us has been good, and actually in some cases has been better than it was at the old building.”

Zion’s Church Council President Terry Yunker took St. Paul’s congregation in when they needed a place to go.

“Those of us at Zion hope that we’ve been good hosts, good friends, and that they’ve felt welcomed and loved,” Yunker said.

“Zion Evangelical approached us, they asked for nothing,” said Barrett. “They warmly opened their arms to us and took us in.”

Normally, the St. Paul and Zion congregations meet at separate times, but this week for Easter Sunday, they met all together.

“It was great to see so many people come together,” said Barrett. “We had no idea how many would show up but we ended up with 123.”

Shannon Jackson worshipped at the old building for 60 years. She says she’d follow the congregation wherever it took her.

“We weren’t worried about what was going to happen because we were going to stay together,” said Jackson. “We knew with hope and faith, God was going to send us somewhere.”

The stained glass may look different, but the feeling at church remains the same.

St. Paul’s UCC is still looking for a permanent place to call home, but in the meantime, they’re happy to have a big church family.

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