Church to reopen under new minister
In November the doors of Tonganoxie's Friends church will open again.
Because of the church's declining membership, during the past year or so, members had worshipped at private homes. And it appeared the 112-year-old building at the corner of Fourth and Shawnee, was doomed. The Tonganoxie United Methodist Church, one half-block east of the Friends church, had offered to buy the property. The Methodists had hoped to move Good Shepherd Thrift Shop into the old Friends church and parsonage and then tear down the thrift shop, to allow for additional parking for the Methodist church.
Instead, Friends church leaders decided to focus on reopening and reviving the Tonganoxie church.
The changeover includes a new name, according to David Robinson, general superintendent of Mid America Evangelical Friends in Wichita. Instead of the Tonganoxie Friends Meeting, the church will be the Tonganoxie Evangelical Friends Church.
The church will reopen possibly as early as Nov. 6, depending on when repairs are made to the church and parsonage.
Robinson said worship services would be different from what they were before.
"There will be a new name, a new focus, new directions," Robinson said.
He noted the church in the past has followed the traditional quiet and simple Quaker approach to worship.
"They've had preaching, but it's always been low-key," Robinson said. "This approach that we will have will be more of an evangelical approach. There will be probably contemporary music, there will be preaching ... it may be even tinged with a country