Save Alto Presbyterian Church

Campaign Created by: Alto Presbyterian Church

The funds from this campaign will be received by Cj Sartor.

Goal: USD $10,000
Raised: USD $ 5,635

Alto Presbyterian Church was founded in 1872, and the present building was constructed in 1874.  The building in constructed of rough cypress that was cut and milled locally, and constructed by the congregation.  The cemetery behind the church predates the building, with graves dating back before and immediately after the Civil War.  The building stands upon the highest ridge in Richland Parish in the community of Alto, Louisiana, just across a field from Boeuf River.  It has been the site of countless baptisms, weddings, funerals, and stands as an icon of the typical country church.

While the church is still petitioned several times a year to be the site for weddings, it has not been able to be fully functional for the past several years due to severely damaged foundation and floors.  The pier and beam foundation needs to be lifted, beams replaced, and drainage installed under the church to correct the problem.  About 20 years ago a similar problem was repaired, and when the building was lifted parts of the flooring were severely damaged and were replaced.  Currently, the church only holds services once a quarter due to the issues with the building.  In addition, the original wiring from the early 30’s needs to be replaced and lighting in the building needs to be upgraded to current standards (using LED fixtures) so bulbs will not have to be replaced frequently.  Several years ago painters were hired to paint the interior and exterior and they watered down paint, leaving the building with paint peeling.  Recent wet weather has caused accelerated deterioration of paint finishes inside and out.

Our goal is to repair the foundation, and reinstall the original floor when done.  We are almost there!  We only need a bit more for Phase 1.  Phase 2 will rewire, repaint, and fix other issues, and get the church ready for a new role as the media center for New Covenant Parish.  See our current videos on YouTube!

We have been awarded two grants by First Presbyterian Church of Shreveport that will cover part of the cost, but we know we will need to at least match that amount to complete the first phase of repairs.  This is just one of several fundraisers we have planned.  We are also selling artwork on Etsy and merchandise with Bible verses and the church image on Teespring.  We will begin work on the repairs this November, but still lack the funds to finish Phase 1.  We anticipate the work to take three to six months depending upon when the work starts and weather.

Please help us save this beautiful historic building to serve generations to come!

 

UPDATES

A Final Checklist, and a Cash Crunch: We Need Your Help to Finish Restoration!
August 28, 2023
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We finally have a punch list of what needs to happen in order to return the 150-year-old Alto Presbyterian Church building to a beacon of God's love and grace.  We are down to $8,500 in cash... and we will need more than that for the next step of cleaning and painting the church interior.  We also have more carpentry work to do.  The restroom needs to be rebuilt to ADA compliance.  The platform for the pulpit must be rebuilt.  Then we can finish electrical work and replace the flooring.  We are so grateful for those who have gotten us this far.  Please consider another donation, or forward to someone who you believe could help.  Thanks for your prayers and support.

The Good News-Bad News Update.
March 23, 2020
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The good news is we have exceeded our original goal of raising $40,000, and now have in excess of $42,000 in the bank!

The bad news:  just before the COVID-19 crisis exploded, we learned that our original goal of $40,000 to repair the foundation is way too low.  Estimates from reputable house-lifting companies are between $32,000 and $38,000, and that won't even cover the actual repairs needed.  To properly address the foundation problem, we will need to disconnect the porch, electrical, and plumbing systems to lift the building, then carefully remove the furniture and original flooring.  Then we repair the foundation and put the floor back.  Our contractor has estimated it will cost around $62,000, but that does not include any unforseen problems with the roof or steeple during this process. 

We are not giving up!  We are pressing on, asking for your help, looking for possible grants as well.  Please keep up with our progress here.  We are also sending out newsletters.  You can contact us here to ask for us to mail or email a copy.

Thank you again for all of your prayers and support!

Getting closer!
October 26, 2019
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As of October 25, 2019, we have $31,900!  That includes the grant from 1st Presbyterian Shreveport, and all donations and fundraisers so far, including this one.

We know we will need at least $40,000 for the foundation work.  Once that is done we can determine how much other restoration efforts will cost.

But we are getting closer!  Thanks to so many folks who have contributed!  All encouragement, especially prayers are appreciated!

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