Lucy Robbins shows a "For Sale" sign in front of the Biltmore United Methodist Church in Asheville, N.C. in July 2021.
Already financially strapped because of shrinking membership and a struggling preschool, the congregation was dealt a crushing blow by the coronavirus.
Attendance plummeted, with many staying home or switching to other churches that stayed open the whole time.
Gone, too, is the revenue the church formerly got from renting its space for events and meetings.
That turned out to be a blessing during the pandemic, with no need to worry about a mortgage, upkeep, insurance or utilities.
The impact is felt in the collection plate: The money coming in now is just about a third of what it was before the pandemic, the pastor said. »