Meredosia Board Deals With Church Collapse

By Benjamin Cox on July 16, 2022 at 10:23pm

Village of Meredosia officials say an agreement has been reached with a California real estate group to tear down a collapsed church building in the middle of town.

The former United Methodist Church, located at 138 North Marion Street, had its south wall collapse in on itself last week. The building dates back to the turn of the 20th Century and had been sitting dormant for some time. According to the Journal Courier, the village was made aware of the south wall bowing and had the building inspected by the village’s safety officer. Within a few days of the inspection, the south wall caved in completely into the sanctuary with the building showing further signs of collapse.

Village Trustee Ernie Gregory says contact was fruitful with TSA Holding Group, a San Francisco, California-based real estate company to get the property cleaned up: “I think the mayor [David Werries] and Alan Taylor, who is another trustee, have been in contact with this group notifying them that they need to do something. Now, the north side of the building is bowing, and we are afraid it will come down in the street or something. As of the past couple days, we have been in contact with them and they have hired a local company to tear it down…demolish it. That should happen not this coming week but the week of July 25th. I can’t tell you what day. It all depends on the company and what they’ve got going on, but it will be demolished.”

Bowing can be seen near the top portion of the roof of the former United Methodist Church of Meredosia built in 1877.

The village had been turning over the idea of demolishing the church and then, place a lien on the property for TSA to pay for the work.

The property is currently surrounded by caution tape with a neighboring garage to the south the only threat of having any damage if the north wall would come down. Gregory says activity at the church had dwindled and caused it to close a few years ago.

Recently, the village purchased the Christian Church with the possibility of turning it into a Senior Citizens’ Center. Gregory says attendance at the Christian Church had dipped below 10 people. The remaining members will still be allowed to hold services at the church while the village board will vote on what the public’s usage will be for the church some time in the next few months.