Church Hopes to Save Historic Chapel

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EUGENE, Ore. — A 120-year-old church in north Eugene is in need of a savior.

The congregation at Sonrise Christian Church says while it has many memories with the old chapel, it’s time for it to say goodbye.

These days it’s used mainly as a storage space–candelabras and an ancient organ fill the corners. The main hall is used for the occasional wedding, but it mostly sits empty now.

And the members of the church say their small group can no longer handle the cost of upkeep. While they’ve weighed several options, including allowing the fire department to use it as a training exercise, they and their partners believe it has great historical value.

“A person can learn about history in a book, and certainly you can be told about it, but nothing compares to being able to be in a historic building and to touch it, and that really communicates that sense of history that nothing else can,” said Andrew Fisher, Board Chair.

Organizers hope that people will take advantage of the opportunity to do just that this weekend. They hope that many people will come to share their ideas about what to do with the old building.

The congregation says though that no matter what happens, they plan on keeping the old bell as a keepsake.

Eugene’s Historic Preservation Board will hold an open house Saturday, May 4 at the Sonrise Christian Church, located at 1300 Irvington Drive in north Eugene. It will be from 10 a.m. to noon.

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