First Baptist Church of Kalamazoo changing ownership

KALAMAZOO, MI (WKZO AM/FM) (Original Article)— A longtime church in Kalamazoo has announced that it will be changing ownership.

First Baptist Church of Kalamazoo, located at 315 W. Michigan Ave., has been open in the city ever since 1853. However, officials with the church say that the building has become unsustainable as is.

Citing factors such as rising maintenance costs, decreasing membership, and more space than needed, officials have decided to transfer ownership to the Kalamazoo Nonprofit Advocacy Coalition (KNAC).

Despite the transfer of ownership, the church will still operate inside the building. The extra space has been utilized through rent by nonprofit organizations and artists in the past, and will continue to do so in the future.

For instance, organizations such as Crawlspace Theatre Productions, which teaches improvisational comedy, already use some of the space for classes and performances.

Officials say that the building could become a new outlet for cultural arts. It is currently unknown whether the name of the building will remain the same.

Furthermore, church officials say that they would rather the building still be used, rather than shutting down altogether.