IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WZMQ) – The Pentecostal Assembly of God Church at the corner of Carpenter Avenue and Brown Street, once a hub of spiritual and community activity, is set to be demolished. As the wrecking ball looms, locals are seizing the opportunity to re-live cherished memories within its walls.
Lorna Carey, the Dickinson County Treasurer and Land Bank Chair, expressed her sentiment, saying, “This church, it was built in the early 1900s, so there is so much history here.” The church, abandoned since the early 1980s, is the focus of the second phase of a three-part demolition project taking place in the city, with the endeavor being part of a Blight Grant from the State of Michigan Land Bank Authority.
Carey’s crew is working to salvage remnants of the church’s storied past. These salvaged memories will find a new home within a county warehouse. “You know my hope is that we can distribute some of these mementos into people’s lives, and they can continue with their memories even though the building is not here,” Carey shared.
Carol Bartolameolli, a devoted church attendee, holds a special connection to the church’s musical heritage. Bartolameolli fondly reminisced, “She loved to play, and she would play while her mother played the violin. One time, my grandma, which was her mother, came to her after church, at this church, and said Hilka, tone it down. This is a church, not a bar,” Bartolameolli laughed.
Although a definite date for the demolition remains elusive, Carey confirmed that it’ll take place within the next two months. For those interested in acquiring a piece of the church’s artifacts, the County Treasurer’s Office is the point of contact. “I get it because I did grow up in a church, and, and I get it,” Carey empathized, understanding the profound connection many share with their religious places.
The Assembly of God congregation bid a final farewell to the iconic site with a last service. Pastor David Harms led the concluding service, signifying a shift in spiritual focal points as the congregation now gathers in the new Assembly of God Church in Breitung. As the demolition draws near, community members are rallying, and donations are welcomed to aid in preserving these tangible remnants of a cherished past.