Posted on June 12, 2019 by PJ SlingerFormer churches with better missions Paul Novak also sent us this photo of Sidney Novak standing in front of a former church in Urbandale, Iowa, that is now a camera store called Christian Photo. The owner’s last name is Christian. Member Paul Novak sent us this photo of a funeral home in Sac City, Iowa. He says it was initially a Baptist congregation, but split into two congregations about 10 years ago. The funeral home was down the street and apparently bought the place for cheap. It is only used for funerals. he church owned by the Christian Life Center at a bankruptcy auction in Santa Rosa, Calif. As the only cash bidder, it got the property for $4.5 million and the founders formed the Luther Burbank Memorial Foundation, named in honor of the renowned horticulturalist. The doors were opened to the public in 1981 with debut performances by the Santa Rosa Symphony and performing artists, including Anne Murray and Steve Allen. The Luther Burbank Center for the Arts has grown to become the leading arts, education and events center in the North Bay, presenting more than 230 performances, hosting more than 850 community events, and serving more than 500,000 people annually through a wide variety of programs. Victor Nicolescu sent us information on the former Church of Christ, Scientist, in Manhattan, which is now the new home of the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. On Dec. 22, the museum completed the $45 million purchase of the church, which was built in 1903 and is now a New York City landmark. The church’s renovation into the museum is expected to cost $75 million to $80 million. Rainer Gades sent us a photo of this former church from the 1890s, which is a Hot Springs, Ark., landmark building. It is now home to The Yoga Place, a yoga studio. Celeste Gibson informed us of this former church in Viroqua, Wis., which now houses a nonprofit arts center with a vegan café. The former Congregational Church was built in 1897, and has been home to various churches throughout its history. It is now the home of the Ark Center for Fine Arts and the Ark Café. Clarence Cook of Oregon sent us this photo of an old Protestant church in Bend, Ore., which is now a brew shop and pub. Tim Hatcher sent us this photo of this former church in Dallas. Tim writes: “First opened in 1910, this church at 2712 Swiss Avenue began its life as St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. The St. Joseph Academy next door had opened in 1905. In the 1990s, it became a private residence when it was purchased and renovated by beloved actress Ronnie Claire Edwards, best known for her role as Corabeth Godsey on the TV series ‘The Waltons.’ Furnishing the former sanctuary quite colorfully with a grand piano, art and assorted antiques, she lived there until her death in 2016 at age 83. It was designated a Dallas landmark in 2010.” Marcia Gascho sent us information about the current Indiana Landmarks building in Indianapolis, which originally housed a 19th-century Methodist church. After a $19 million dollar renovation in 2010, it now houses the Indiana Landmarks’ headquarters. The original stained glass windows and pews are in the Grand Hall, now used for weddings, concerts, etc. It has a state-of-the-art lighting and sound system and a pipe organ. The building has a catering kitchen and a number of rooms that can be rented for art shows, meetings, conferences and other events. It is located in the Old Northside historical district of Indianapolis. Lunker Barlow sent us this photo from Ventura, Calif., of the Rubicon Theater Company, which it has been for the past 20 years, supplanting a former church known as the Laurel. “As I think about it, replacing a church with a live theater isn’t much of a change, as both are dedicated to the presentation of fictional events,” Barlow quips. The Saint Joseph’s Arts Society in San Francisco now occupies what used to be Saint Joseph’s Church on Howard Street. The building is a registered landmark, and had been empty since the 1989 earthquake. It took more than two years and about $15 million in renovation to transform the space. Lunker Barlow also sent us this photo from Ventura, Calif., of the former Southern Methodist Episcopal Church, which was built in 1888. It is now a historic landmark that was once the Victorian Rose Wedding Chapel, and since 2002 has housed the Victorian Rose Bed and Breakfast Inn.