Sacred Places Indiana Grants Help Congregations Tackle Repairs at Historic Churches

Indiana Landmarks’ Sacred Places Indiana Fund awards more than $2 million to support preservation at seven historic churches.

Saint Adalbert Catholic Church, South Bend
Saint Adalbert Catholic Church, South Bend (photo by: Courtney Nelson, Conrad Schmitt Studios)

Doing Good Work

In 2015, with support from Lilly Endowment Inc., Indiana Landmarks teamed up with Philadelphia-based Partners for Sacred Places to create a new program called Sacred Places Indiana, assisting religious congregations in stewardship of historic places of worship by offering training in community engagement, strategic partnerships, and fundraising.

In late 2022, another generous gift from Lilly Endowment allowed Sacred Places Indiana to expand its impact by creating a fund to help congregations address significant repair needs at their historic facilities. The new Sacred Places Indiana Fund offers planning and capital grants to support structural repairs, upgrades to mechanical systems, and restoration of significant artistic features.

Along with relieving the financial burden for local congregations, Sacred Places Indiana also supplies the technical expertise of Indiana Landmarks’ preservation staff to help ensure the historic character of these special places is protected.

In 2023, Indiana Landmarks awarded more than $2 million from our Sacred Places Indiana Fund to support preservation at seven historic churches.

Broadway United Methodist Church

Broadway United Methodist Church, Indianapolis

Broadway United Methodist has been a pillar in the Mapleton-Fall Creek neighborhood of Indianapolis for almost 100 years. Designed by Hoosier architect Herbert Foltz, the English Gothic-style church was completed in 1927 on the banks of Fall Creek, featuring a prominent 112-foot bell tower. A $400,000 grant from the Sacred Places Indiana Fund will allow the congregation to complete urgently needed restoration work on the bell tower and Indiana limestone façade.

First Christian Church, Bloomington

Founded nearly 200 years ago, the congregation of First Christian is focused on community service, offering a wide variety of programs for youth and adults. Completed in 1919, the current church building is a downtown anchor located just a block from the Monroe County Courthouse. A $250,000 grant will help the congregation replace the building’s aging heating and cooling systems, ensuring that worship and community-facing activities can continue without interruption.

First Christian Church
Meridian Street United Methodist Church

Meridian Street United Methodist Church, Indianapolis

Established in 1821, Meridian Street United Methodist Church is the city’s oldest congregation, with a long history of tackling social issues. Its current church home on Meridian Street was completed in 1952 in the Georgian style popular after World War II, meant to capture the spirit of America facing a new era of prosperity. The church will use a $40,000 grant to remove and repair an exterior ramp and reconstruct limestone steps and iron handrails leading to the historic sanctuary.

North United Methodist Church, Indianapolis

Charles Hopson, one of America’s foremost church architects, designed North United Methodist’s English Gothic-style church. Completed in 1931, it was notably constructed during the Depression without a mortgage. The congregation takes pride in its “strong social conscience” and conducts many forward-thinking social programs. A $250,000 grant will help the congregation address masonry repairs to halt water infiltration into the church’s lofty sanctuary and its 1951 education wing.

North United Methodist Church
Park Place Church of God

Park Place Church of God, Anderson

Completed in 1960, Park Place Church’s Colonial Revival facility was designed to be a center of community service and outreach, including a sanctuary, education building, and 160-foot-tall brick and limestone tower topped by a soaring aluminum spire and Celtic-style stainless steel cross. With a mission focused on outreach to the Anderson community, the church is also home to the Park Place Children’s Center and Park Place Community Center. A $300,000 grant will support masonry repairs on the church’s steeple.

Saint Adalbert Catholic Church, South Bend

Founded to minister to South Bend’s Polish community, Saint Adalbert Catholic Church continues to serve a congregation of first-generation immigrants—primarily from Mexico—with a blended congregation that celebrates Mexican and Polish heritage. Completed in 1926, its “Polish Cathedral” Neo-Gothic church building is notable for its 175-foot-tall twin steeples, the tallest in the city. A $400,000 grant will support exterior repairs to mitigate water infiltration causing damage to historic interior features.

Saint Adalbert Catholic Church, South Bend
Saint Adalbert Catholic Church
Saint Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church

Saint Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church, Michigan City

Formed during a period of significant immigration from Europe to communities near Chicago, Saint Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church is a dominant structure in the heart of Michigan City, where it ministers to a diverse congregation that includes members descended from its Polish founders. Completed in 1926, the church is an example of Old-World architecture, boasting two monumental bell towers. A $400,000 grant will help the congregation address urgently needed repairs to the towers, which are currently wrapped to contain crumbling masonry.

Applications for the next round of grants from the Sacred Places Indiana Fund are being accepted now through July 15, 2024.

Historic churches that have identified significant capital needs, have the support of their judicatories, and are ready to undertake a capital campaign could be candidates for the Sacred Places Indiana Fund.

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