Blawenburg Church Begins Project SOS
By Montgomery News Staff l September 1, 2021
Like so many other projects in our country, Project SOS (Save our Steeple/Sanctuary), which planned to repair and maintain Blawenburg Church, went on hold in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The church had raised sufficient funds to start the six-phase improvement project, but it took until this summer to begin the much-needed work.
In late July, the project began with the repair, preparation, and painting of the exterior of the church and steeple by J. G. Nasile Painting Company of Trenton. This phase involved repairing and scraping the historic church and then applying a coat of primer and two finish coats of paint.
According to project leader, Elder Peggy Querec, the All Wildlife Removal Services LLC of Monroe Township, began the second phase of the project after the painting was completed. They evaluated the exterior of the church and steeple to fill any remaining holes. In September, they plan to remove the bats safely using a one-way exit. “When they fly out, they will be unable to return,” Querec said, “but they will also be unharmed. Once the bats are gone, the attic will be thoroughly cleaned and new insulation will be installed.” The second phase of the project is expected to be completed by October.
There are adequate funds for the first two phases of the project thanks to the fundraising campaign that was run in 2019-20. “We are grateful for the financial support that we have received from the community,” David Cochran, SOS Team Leader, said recently. “While we haven’t raised the funds to complete all of our repair and maintenance projects, we have raised sufficient funds to cover our most critical needs.” Other project goals include the painting of the interior of the church, upgrading the electrical service, repairing the organ, restoring the bell, and repaving the driveways and parking areas. “We will do what we can with the resources we have,” Cochran said.
At the launch of Project SOS, Pastor Jeff Knol cited the importance of the project. “We recognize the building is a vehicle we use to serve the community. Our historic church is a critical structure in Montgomery. We need to preserve it for our members and for the people of Montgomery.”
Like the village of Blawenburg, Blawenburg Church is on the National and State Registers of Historic Places. It has served Blawenburg and Montgomery Township since 1832 and will celebrate its 190th anniversary in March 2022.
Blawenburg Church holds live and remote worship services each Sunday at 9 am. See the church website.