By Katelyn Newberg, The Gainesville Sun (Fla.)
His parents’ funerals were there. He got married there. In the 1980s, he was one of about 400 congregation members who crowded into pews for Easter services.
Now, only about 15 people make it to 11 a.m. Sunday services, Jones said. This Sunday, the doors of the one-story, yellow-brick church on 16th Avenue will close for good after its final service at 3 p.m., said Susan Mickelberry, a member of the church’s governing body.
With a declining congregation, keeping the church open was not possible, she said.
“It just became too difficult to maintain the cost of the building,” she said. “Most of our members are working full time; membership was small.”
But the Highlands congregation isn’t the only group to meet at the church. Enduring Faith Ministries holds services at 1 p.m. on Sundays, and the Heart Pine School rents classrooms in the building.
After the last service, the Presbytery of St. Augustine, which governs Highlands and other Presbyterian churches in north Florida, will take control of the building, said Steve Benz, an official with the presbytery who oversees church closings.