"Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others." ~ Jonathan Swift
After many years of seeing this old church in downtown Whitesboro, we decided to tackle the project of restoring it. In May of 2013, our family purchased and immediately began renovation on what we now call The Pearl, Old Church Restored. The buzz around town has created quite an interest in the historical building that was once the center of Whitesboro.
The building was constructed & dedicated in 1906 as the First Christian Church. The Old Church was last inhabited around 1970. It was a shell of its former grandeur & had been slated for demolition two times.
The restoration of the project includes stained glass windows that are partly original glass. The new glass used in the window renovation was purchased from the 1906 original glass fabricator in Kokomo, Indiana. Some of the window frames were in tact but others had to be completely re-built to match the original craftsmanship. To our delight, another original fabricator, W.F. Norman Company, was located in Nevada, Missouri. They were the ceiling tin manufacturer that completed all the ceilings throughout the structure in 1906. We were able to order every ceiling tin that had been damaged by years of neglect. Over 240 pieces of tin had to be replaced throughout the church. In the 1960’s, the structure had been renovated covering up most of the original architecture in the church. We found fabulous arches & tin ceilings covered up by paneling & sheetrock. Our vision for this building was to make it as much like the original design as possible. Doors, baseboards & trim were custom milled to match the original design. Parts of the original pine hardwood floors were heavily damaged & rotted by water coming through the roof for many years. The floors have been repaired & restored to their original beauty. One cool element of this old church is the basement. “Sunday School Invitation Cards” dating back to 1907 were found in a wall of the basement. We have added a Bride’s room, office/storage area & 2- restrooms in the basement. We hope to complete the kitchen in the basement and outdoor deck area off of the reception room before the fall of 2014.
The gratification we feel from completing this project is overwhelming. Many things have been envisioned for this structure throughout the years. We feel so blessed to have been able to restore the church building back to what it was intended to be.
John & Ann Paty
The Pearl, Old Church Restored will be primarily used for a wedding chapel & event center (wedding receptions, birthday parties, anniversary parties, bridal showers, baby showers, tea’s, corporate events, family reunions, etc.)
We now have a beautiful sanctuary that seats 150 people. The reception hall & basement provide a perfect area to host your wedding reception or venue.
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