Church Closes But Congregation’s Financial Generosity Will Help Community For Years To Come

The congregation of Immanuel United Church of Christ held a final worship service Sunday, ending a church that began in Crothersville in the 1860’s. The current church building, constructed by German immigrants in 1874, is at the corner of Kattman Avenue and Howard Street.

“While this is a sad, somber time for the remaining members of the church, the congregation will leave a legacy in many ways,” said the Rev. ‘Bud’ Walther, long time pastor at the church. “After a long ministry the church will continue to serve through the distribution of the remaining assets.”

Financially the church expects to leave approximately $350,000 to continue the work the congregation has begun.

The congregation voted to fund several endowments through the Community Foundation of Jackson County.

“But the real legacy will be the hundreds of people in Jackson County who can trace their faith roots through parents, grandparents great grand-parents, and extended family to baptisms, confirmations, marriages, funerals at this church.

The church’s German Reformed Cemetery at the corner of Kattman Avenue and Main Street will perennially be cared for through an endowment of $85,000. The cemetery will be turned over to the Crothersville Cemetery Association for care.

The congregation has voted to establish an endowed $100,000 fund for an annual college scholarship for Vernon Township students in future years.

A $50,000 endowment will support the work of Brooklawn (Uspiritus) in Louisville and Crossroads in Fort Wayne. Both facilities have received the local church’s long time support are for abused and neglected children.

A $25,000 endowed fund will be established for Crothersville community nonprofit work annually.

“The foundation strives for a 4% return on investments,” said Dan Davis, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Jackson County. “The generosity of the congregation of Immanuel United Church of Christ means that over $10,000 annually will be made available for the church designated endowments in perpetuity.”

The congregation has supported a child in the Philippines at the Dumaguete Kalauman Center through the UCC Global Ministries Child Sponsorship program for many years. “We are sponsoring our fifth child, Kenneth,” said Walther. “We will be providing $2,500 to complete our current child’s education. Also the Dumaguete Kalauman Center for Development is conducting a capital campaign to enlarge the school and the congregation will be making a gift of $5,000 toward that effort.”

Additional gifts will be made to the Crothersville-Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department, the Crothersville Senior Citizens Center and the Crothersville Area Ministerial Association “Helping Hand Fund.”

Walther said a healthy reserve fund will be held for one year to cover any potential expenses. The church and parking lot will be sold with a closing expected later this year. Any funds remaining will be distributed in one year, he added.