DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Doors at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church are permanently closed, but their church congregation made sure their outreach will continue for years to come.
On Friday morning, church leaders signed over eight checks to local charities and organizations, to add to the five they had already given out, totaling $1.3 million.
“We knew five years ago, that when we could only cover 40 percent of our operating expenses, that we were having to take it from investments, that our future was limited,” said former pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Bob Miller.
He said they gave the members the option to either stay open and use up the resources, or close and pay it forward, they decided on the latter.
Friday’s presentation served as the last leg of this five year journey of donating $1.3 million to 13 organizations.
The 13 organizations are – Jeremiah’s Letter Inc., Shoes 4 the Shoeless, New Hope Ministries, Victory Project, Chaminade Julienne, St. Paul United Methodist Church, 4 Paws for Ability, Daybreak, South Community Behavioral Sciences, Humane Society of Greater Dayton, Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together, and Lutheran Outdoor Ministries in Ohio.
“Local nonprofits that do ministry similar to what we were doing here in terms of our programs, and we wanted to leave a living legacy to some folks,” said Miller.
Miller said the process has been bittersweet, but he is proud of his congregation for embracing the change.
“The legacy that you left has lived on,” said Miller. “And we’ve completed that task, and you should all feel good about that.”‘
The church, which has been on Wayne Avenue for 165 years, had their last service at the end of 2017 and the site will soon serve a new purpose after it was purchased by Weyland Ventures, the developer who purchased the Wheelhouse project across the street.
It’s unknown what will become of the property, but Miller cannot wait to see how the organizations carry on the St. Paul name.
“In the church, we call that a resurrection,” said Miller.