Skip Navigation Links

Presbyterian Church Building is Demolished

Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - Posted 10:47:52 PM

After years of neglect and abuse, the former Presbyterian Church building has been demolished. The building was bought by the Fieldcrest School district in 2010 ostensibly to use it for academic use and perhaps plays and musicals. Unfortunately, it became a storage building for the school district and when the furnace stopped working several years ago, the school administration decided not to repair it and instead let it fall into a state of disrepair. We have been given no reason as to why this decision was made.

An effort to purchase the building by former resident Joe Limbaugh several years ago was rebuffed. Eventually, the building became unmarketable because of the cost it would take to repair the damage done to the building.

In September, the Fieldcrest Board of Education voted to have the building demolished although all three board members from Minonk were outvoted in their attempt to save the building.

The church building was built in 1915 for $30,000 of which 50% of the cost was paid for by Bela Stoddard, one of Minonk's most prominent citizens.

The site of the Presbyterian church building is truly now an eyesore although one of the Fieldrest board members said it was an eyesore before it was demolished. In fact, it was one of Minonk's most beautiful buildings and its demise tarnishes the reputation of the school and the city who refused to save the building.

Below is a picture of the Presybterian Church building in its better days.


Richard Robertson: Another Minonk landmark eliminated along with both Jumbo's, the grain elevators , main Street, the pool. What's next ? Maybe the Catholic Church steeple?
Carole Jones: A sad day - another historic building gone forever.
Ilene Kelm Beverley: Sad to see that landmark go!! I am sure they could not find a practical use for it, and probably would have taken lots of money to get it up to date
Joe Limbaugh: They had a potential buyer for the entire building...ME. When news first broke that the School Board was going to raze it I contacted the Superintendent via email telling him that we may have an interest in purchasing the property for restoration. We are former residents who worshipped there and were looking for an investment property. He emailed back a few days later and advised that a school board member stated that the decision had been made to demolish it, so they were following through. So...instead of earning income on an asset, they chose to pay to have it removed. It's asinine no matter how you consider it. And...where was the city? Community preservation groups? This building was gifted to a group of people seemingly incapable of managing tax funded assets. Outrageous.
Joe Limbaugh: The more I look at this photo the more vexed I become. Why didn't the current school board challenge the Superintendent about this? Some of them knew, as I was personally contacted by board members after I posted publicly about this. I'm tempted to fly up there for the next board meeting and ask him myself!
Melanie Olson Mills: Joe Limbaugh unbelievable.
Theresa Parks Curless: Joe Limbaugh I grew up in Minonk. One of the few things that makes me not so proud of Minonk and the school system
Jill Davidson Ludwig: They had buyers, but Superintendent and others refused to sell it. Shame on those who let it go and never maintained, fixed or let us know until it was too late to repair it. It was not bought for storage, but was suppose to be used for music recitals, etc. It is so sad that another Historical landmark gone.... If they can't maintain this small of a building how will they maintain a new state of the art school??
Cindy Cunningham Guetschow: Heartbreaking Delete, hide or report this
Sandy Lehman: If they really wanted to the school district or the citzens of Minonk. could of saved the church.
Martha Owens: I understand there was an offer to buy at a fair price and the school would not even consider it.
Joyce Limbaugh: So sad that the school district didn't maintain the building so that it could have been saved. Shame on the previous school board members and the superintendent for not being more responsible with Minonk's tax dollars.
Keith Paris: I hope they took all the asbestos out before the demo. Especially so close to the school. I'm guessing there was probably lead paint also.
Lisa Steinhilber:  so sad
Barbara Goff-Westphale: I grew up across the street from this church. So sad NO ONE could figure out how to utilize this church
Linda Thacker: Destroying the charm of the town..... shameful.
Jan Sweet Hovey: This makes me sick to my stomach. Shame on you Fieldcrest!!
Melanie Olson Mills: This was unnecessary, period.
Donald Muzzy: Minonk is so set on trying to "improve" it with newer and "better" things that it's in a rush to destroy and get rid of everything that once made the town iconic. At this rate, in 50 years all minonk will have is 20 houses, a dollar store, a bank, 6 bars, maybe one church. I wouldn't be surprised they tear down the Catholic church, and all the original buildings on main just to build newer ones at the rate they are going.
Linda Williams: Sad
Rick Halberg: Let me start by saying that I love old buildings and the character they bring to a community. But I think there's a lot of uproar here over something that's inevitable with older buildings: decay, neglect, and eventually becoming a danger. Was there this much concern when the old Masonic Temple was demolished? Or even when the Woodford Hotel, a fixture in Minonk and a large part of it's history, was torn down to make way for a new VFW building? The school district didn't buy the building because they wanted a church - they wanted the land. If you ever want to expand that school, you're gonna need that property. Sure, maybe the school had offers from private citizens to buy it and possibly restore it, but where would that leave the school district when it eventually wanted to expand? You would have private residences on either side that would not want to sell, and you can't move across the street. Yeah, it's sad when a beautiful old building succumbs to the wrecking ball, but it's also reality. If the citizens of Minonk really wanted to save that building, more of you should have attended the Presbyterian Church regularly and kept it going. I know I'm no longer a resident, but I still consider Minonk my hometown and want to see it prosper. And sometimes that means saying goodbye to yesterday. Minonktalk: Rick, you have made some good points but Fieldcrest will probably not be expanding if their enrollment keeps declining. Also, they have at least 3 acres south of the gymnasium for expansion so they don't need the Presbyterian church property for expansion.
Susan Skaggs: Rick Halberg hi there, I have to give my 2 cents here! The building needed to be bulldozed because of the neglect from our superintendent and the former school board! The only thing that might be done with the property is a new school parking lot! Pretty expensive parking lot don't ya think? If fieldcrest high school ever expands it will be in a brand new building and than the high school will get bulldozed. If the school board would have taken care of the building it wouldn't have needed to be bulldozed. This building became this way because of negligence from the former school board members and superintendent! Joe Limbaugh made an offer to save it but Dr. Oakley basically made it a closed subject! Wasn't even brought to the tax payers attention! When will the madness and greed stop! Yes it became a safety hazard but only because of neglect! Shame on Dr. Oakley and the former school board!

Edna Hawbaker:That is a sad picture. I remember being in that church on several occasions. The architecture of the church was impressive and stately on Maple Ave. Why do we let this happen so often?
Mase Wehrle: Seems as tho a lot of people were against this. But were any school board members. Did they voice any objections, or just sheepishly go along with what the big boss wanted.
Heidi Wolff: Let's see how long it takes for this lot to go on the market and who wants to buy it.