Membership, down to 8, closes Genoa United Church of Christ

GENOA, Ill. (AP) — With fewer than a dozen faithful members remaining, Peace United Church of Christ has closed its doors with a ritual of de-consecration.

A fixture in Genoa for more than a century, the church conducted its first service on March 27, 1909 and its final one on Sunday. 

Iness Coon told the (DeKalb) Daily Chronicle  she’s been at the church for most Sundays in the past 78 years. Her favorite memories are of regular rummage and bake sales and the hot chocolate stand the church would sponsor for the downtown winter festival. 

Kathy Lawes, associate conference minister in the Prairie and Western Associations of the church, helped conduct Sunday’s service. She says such rituals are heart-rending.

Church member Les Becker says eight “core” members remained.