And Now, the Latest Scalzi Acquisition

And to help us along with this, I am calling on your friend and mine, Whatever’s favorite recurring gimmick, the Fictional Interlocutor!

For the record, I’m not comfortable being called a gimmick.

I understand that entirely, and yet.

Hmmmph. Why are you bothering me now?

Because I want you to help me introduce the latest Scalzi acquisition!

(Rolls eyes) You know, there are only so many multi-necked guitars you can buy before the schtick gets old.

I understand that. Are you ready?

(Sighs) Fine, let’s get this over with.

Okay! Here’s the new thing:

Wow, what a surprise, you bought a new guitar.

Well, yes, but —

And it’s a three-string cigar box guitar with a silk-screened American flag! How very patriotic of you.

Thank you, but —

Only one neck, though. You’re slipping.

Well, look, one, not every guitar needs more than one neck. And two, the guitar isn’t actually the latest acquisition.

Come again?

The guitar isn’t the latest acquisition.

So… you’re showing off what, then? New shoes? Is this kindergarten show and tell?

Not the shoes.

(Impatient) Then what? The jacket? The pants? That clearly obvious neck wattle?

It’s not a wattle.

All right, it’s new, it needs time to grow into a wattle. It’s a wattlette.

That’s not even a word, and no to all of those.

I give up. What is it?

Here, let me reframe the photo. Maybe that will help.

Okay, so, your latest acquisition is a court summons for trespassing at a local church.

Well, see, that’s the thing. I’m not trespassing.

What do you mean?

That’s the latest Scalzi acquisition.

You… bought a church?!?

Yes.

A church.

Yes.

You.

Yes.

A whole church.

I mean, who buys a fraction of a church?

I… you… just… Dude. A church.

Come on. Yes. I bought it. Actually, we bought it, since Krissy is on the title as well.

… why?

I need an excuse?

Yes, you really do.

Fine. For a while now, Krissy and I have been talking about how we wanted to get some additional space for long-term business plans that we have. We had looked at other property in Bradford, but it didn’t fit for what we wanted to do. So were thinking of buying some land locally and building some office and storage space on it. I opened up a real estate site to see what land parcels might be available nearby, and as it happened this church had literally come onto the market that day, a couple hours earlier. In terms of what we needed a space for, this building offered it, along with a fair number of other options as well.

We set up an appointment to see it, were convinced it was worth pursuing, and made an offer. They accepted it. And if people are reading this, it means we’ve actually closed on the deal, and we’re now officially the owners of the building. We own a church.

You’re not planning to, like, start a religion or anything.

Well, as it happens, Krissy and I are both ordained ministers.

What.

It’s true. It’s useful to officiate weddings. But to be clear, no, we have no plans to start a religion. The track record of science fiction authors starting their own religions is, shall we say, spotty at best.

You say that now. But you have a church

You’ll just have to trust me on this one.

We’ll see.

Fair enough.

And anyway, now you’re one of those people.

What do you mean?

Look, not everyone can just wake up, eat a donut and then buy a church on a whim.

I mean, it wasn’t a whim. As noted, we have practical reasons for wanting more space, and it just so happens that the space that best suited our needs locally came in the form of a church.

With that said, okay, sure. I’m now in that tier of authors with idiosyncratic real estate purchases. Some of these authors buy old movie theaters. Some buy Masonic temples. Some buy small islands. I’m getting a church. I’m not going to pretend it’s not a little eccentric. I actually like that. I will probably lean into it as we go along. 

So, how much are churches going for these days, anyway?

A bit more than a six-necked guitar, but inasmuch as this is a church in a small rural community, possibly less than you might suspect. Suffice to say we wouldn’t have gotten it if we did not believe it was within our means. The odd musical purchase aside, Krissy and I are fairly conservative in how we spend our money. This is a long-term project and investment and we’ve budgeted for it as such. 

What happened to the former owners? Did you defenestrate them or something?

There was no defenestration. The building was formerly owned by the Methodist Church, and as I understand it over time the congregation shrank and was merged with another congregation a bit down the road. When that happened, the Methodists didn’t need this building any more, and while they kept it in reasonably good repair (otherwise we wouldn’t have bought it), it wasn’t doing what it was intended to do for them, which was to be a place of worship and community. So they let it go to be useful to someone else, in this case, us.

How old is it?

It’s a little over eighty years old.

Is it haunted?

When word got out locally that we were buying the place, some former members of the congregation assured us that it was. However, if it is, they are Methodist ghosts, and I suspect that means they are reasonably friendly and that the haunting will be somewhat polite. 

You should start a bookstore/goth club/restaurant/[insert some other idea here] in that space.

When you buy your own church, you can do any of those things you like! As for us, be assured that we do have plans, and that we will work toward them over time. Again, this is a long-term project for us. I will say that one thing that Krissy and I have talked about is the desire to have the building continue to be part of the community, rather than entirely removed from it. Bradford has been good to us over the years, and we would like to return the favor. How best to do that is something we still have to think about. But it’s very much part of our planning for the place. 

What are you going to name it? Church of the Scalzi?

There’s already at least one of those, in Venice (right by the Scalzi Bridge!). But we might call it that, simply for convenience. I’m sure there will be other possible names: Church of the Infinite Burrito, First Assembly of the Bacon Cat, The Sacred Order of the Six-Necked Beast, and so on. If people have suggestions, they can leave them in the comments, along with any other questions they might have about the church, and us, and the fact that it’s our place now.

And I think that’s it for you today, fictional interlocutor.

I suppose so. But, dude.

What?

You own a church.

I know. I know. 

— JS

(Update: A follow-up post.)

177 Comments on “And Now, the Latest Scalzi Acquisition”

  1. Ha ha ha ha ha!

    When I saw the first picture, I did wonder if the windows behind you were the point. ;-)

    “First Assembly of the Bacon Cat” had me laughing out loud in my office.

    I will point out that the extremely small town my wife grew up in had made an old church into the public library. So that has precedent.

    So you could have a book store/library/coffee shop which hosts the occasional late-night Scalzi-DJed rave, finishing up with a showing of Rocky Horror.

    Sounds great! I’d buy a membership except that it’s a bit far away from where I live.

    Have fun! Thanks for sharing!

  2. So, you are asking us to take it on faith that you aren’t starting a new religion?

    Sigh, that’s how it always starts, as a slippery slope paved with good intentions.

    Seriously though, congrats on the purchase. It’s got CRENELLATIONS! I’m definitely making my wayyy there at the first sign of the zombie apocalypse! :)

  3. Kate George – Vermont – Award winning author, Kate George is the creator of the popular Bree MacGowan mystery series, which started when she took up a dare to write a book; the result was Moonlighting in Vermont. She was born in Sacramento, California, was raised on a ranch until the age of eight, and graduated from UC Davis with a degree in anthropology. She is currently working on her MFA. She has been, in no particular order, a paste-up tech, a motorcycle safety instructor, an actor, and the assistant to the dean of a medical school, all of which provide plenty of fodder for her novels. Currently, she lives in an old farmhouse in the backwoods of Vermont with her husband, four kids, and two rescue dogs, where by day she teaches and by night, she dreams up wild adventures for her characters. Visit her at kategeorge.com, or contact her at kate@kategeorge.com. She always loves to hear from readers!
    Kate George

    I am soooo jealous. What I could do with that kind of space. I’ve always wanted to own a church. Well not always, but for the last 20 years ow so…

  4. If I remember correctly a comedian bought a church in Pittsburgh or someplace like that and was converting it to a comedy incubator. He gave away the cross and bell to another church and was going to use the space to help develop new comedians, do podcasts and the like since the building has accommodations to do it.

  5. Is this 80s Black Sabbath fandom taken to the extreme conclusion? Because it’s not just a church, but also AN ORGAN. To go with the guitars.

    I’m kind of picturing “School of Hard Rock,” Scalzi style, with maybe some yoga in the community basement afterward. For people who (once) had long hair and still wear black t-shirts.

  6. We all know you bought this so you could play In a Gadda Da Vida on the church organ a la The Simpsons.

    Or maybe Toccata and Fugue in D minor a la Captain Nemo?

  7. Churches are nice, but I really want a fire station. A cool midcentury modern one, not a bland box.

    Starting a church has been a great moneymaker for some folks, but I don’t buy books from that kind of people.

    Vaya con dios, Your Burritoness!

  8. Nice. I looked at a very cool old Masonic Temple a while back, but I couldn’t figure out how to turn it into a money-making enterprise. (The guy who did buy it also never figured that out, fwiw.)

    Are they leaving the organ behind? If so, it’s time for an all-night Inna-Gadda-Davida jam.

  9. Um, it’s not a church. It’s a building that uses to be used as a church.

    To be a church you usually gotta be peddling some kind of bullshit not usually associated with John Scalzi.

  10. timeliebe – Central NY – Dreaded Spouse-Creature to bestselling fantasy author Tamora Pierce (SONG OF THE LIONESS, THE CIRCLE OPENS, BEKA COOPER: A TORTALL LEGEND series), a co-author of TORTALL: A SPY'S GUIDE, Co-author with Tamora Pierce of Marvel's WHITE TIGER: A HERO'S OBSESSION for Marvel Comics. Contributing Editor for VIDEO Magazine during the 1990s, Columnist for C/Net 1999 - 2002.
    timeliebe

    You bought. A church.

    You can’t fool me, or any of your other regulars and semi-regulars – we know the moment you saw the pipe organ in that chapel with what looks like awesome acoustics, you just had to have it, didn’t you? You’re going to turn that into the best recording studio/music venue Middle-of-Nowhere Ohio has ever seen….

  11. Based on the last picture, I’m wondering: did you also buy an organ, as part of the property? (If so, way to go making even bigger odd musical purchases than you have previously.).

    If the pipes are merely decorative, or otherwise nonfunctional at this point, they still look cool. (But if it’s a working or easily restorable instrument, it’d also be cool to try out.)

  12. Refurbished churches make excellent community theaters/concert halls. And if that’s the plan and you find yourself in need of a soon-to-be-retired Shakespeare professor…

  13. please tell me that the pipe organ is still attached to those pipes and still works. and that you plan on terrorizing the neighborhood with pipe organ music regularly.

  14. Let me echo Rebecca from above. I think you have to call it the Church of the Evolved Lamb. Sure it’s a deep cut but it’s a good one!

  15. My first though was “Churro Church”.

  16. Congratulations on your extraordinary acquisition. I have always loved churches. If I could buy a small one I would renovate and live in it. I always visit churches when I travel and take many pictures.

    Full disclosure: I’m an Atheist. My close friends and family find my love of churches interesting if not odd. However, old churches are where some of the best art and architecture are to be found. Yours looks wonderful!

  17. Pro tip to John’s other readers in the northeast: don’t do any sleuthing to find out more details like how much this cost. You really, really don’t want to know. (Whimpers something about just four years’ of my rent payment.)

  18. This is fabulous and what a fantastic recording studio it would make, ala The Commitments!

    We built a video recording studio in our house for my wife’s chair yoga videos on YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/c/bottomsdown. Would love to take a road trip and record some lessons sometime should you go that direction.

  19. You’re…not going to start up a new SF publisher sure to dominate the field and put Tor out of business, are you?

    Don’t be a copycat, John. And think of your contract!

    kdb

  20. Awesome purchase! Our friends in Pleasant Hill bought the old Church of God (formerly Church of the Brethren) and have been living in it/renovating it. Contact Matt and Kristen Gray (through their Level MB company or facebook) to get ideas!

  21. The curved pews are wonderful. Congratulations on your new acquisition. I came very close to buying a deconsecrated church once, and applaud anyone who does.

  22. The real question is whether, next year, you’re hosting a Thanksgiving dinner that couldn’t be beat. And most importantly, who’s taking out the garbage…

  23. Three things:

    First, the fate of the church reminded me of the church we went to when I was a kid in a small town in Minnesota. It was a small Lutheran church and it was across the street from our house. There was a Pastor house for it next door. Recently, I looked it up and it’s still there but the Pastor house was sold. The congregation is smaller and another church in town merged with it (and the other church was sold). Sad, but I guess that’s the way it is in small town USA.

    Two, like you said, you are now in that tier of authors with idiosyncratic real estate purchases. Still a long way from George R.R. Martin territory since he not only owns a theater and a museum (Meow Wolf) but now he owns a train! I don’t think he owns a six-neck guitar so you have that.

    Three, a question: Will that building require routine maintenance? Or will you hire a person to do that? (OK, that was two questions).

  24. The sign out front looks like a continuing opportunity for announcements and/or brief commentary with varying levels of snark. I look forward to seeing photographs, à la “All dogs go to heaven” and so on.
    Regards the room and how it gets used, maybe notables coming visiting Dayton can stop by for readings and book-signings.

  25. Nice!

    I have a passion for “converted” architecture. People who’ve turned Berlin power plants into techno clubs and water towers, churches, and gas stations into homes are, by definition, cool.

    Hope we get to see the intended long-term use.

  26. Ooh, does it have a bell?

    ………..But did your church ever spend years as a Tibetan place of worship that just missed hosting the Dali Lama?

    Our church did.

    Your building was indisputably an American Christian church. Whereas ours, built as a small Lutheran church in the Depression, looks more like a grange hall tacked onto the back of a Craftsman bungalow. In this annex it’s just big flat open space, perfect for hosting dance parties (contra dance, square dance, English country dance). Meanwhile we are remodeling the bungalow side to live in.

    Ours is in Portland, Oregon, about 5 miles northeast of downtown, a block from a major bus line.

    As a born-and-raised apatheist, I’m rather glad ours lacked towers and stained glass and all that lot. Or else, as an anglophile, I envy those things. Not sure which.

  27. Nice!

    Church of the Indignant Cat?

    You could host some huge dinners if it has the typical church kitchen.

  28. Someone asked if Arlo Guthrie bought a church. He did! It is now “The Guthrie Center at The Old Trinity Church.” Not far away is another former church that has been converted into a breathtakingly comprehensive and modern recording studio.

    …And now I’m giving John ideas, aren’t I?

  29. Just wanted to note my approval of the Fictional Interlocutor jumping a little salty there at the beginning. They put up with a lot from you.

  30. So it’s 80 years old. What was there before? Perhaps a Native American burial ground that was built atop a place where the crop-circle alien crashed (not all of them made it back home, you know). So when you’re at your new organ and “the voices” start suggesting new ideas (literary AND musical), write ’em down.

  31. I’m thinking combo B&B, Gift Shop, Micro-Brewery (Old Man’s Tavern) and a Writer’s Workshop. Whatever you do with it, best of luck!

  32. Have to admit, I didn’t have this on my Scalzi bingo card. Could make for a nice visual arts center. Would be some interesting opportunities for large scale works in the main chapel space. Very curious to see what you actually use this for.

  33. davidcrispblog – Melbourne – I'm a Systems Administrator / GIS Analyst. I have been systems admining for 13 years. Recently I had the opportunity to go back to uni and study Geospatial Information Science (GIS). I did this with the hope of breaking into a new and more interesting field.
    David

    Wow! cool dude! I’ve always wanted to own a de-consecrated church! (it IS de-consecrated, right?? :) )
    Do all the fittings and furnishings such as the Organ and Pews come with it? because, like, that’s another eccentric musical instrument purchase there!.

  34. It’s gorgeous…

    If you get stuck inside, it will be the Locked In Cathedral.

  35. foxstudio – I'm a nature/wildlife artist. My art career began in 1976 as a sign painter's apprentice. I earned a BFA Illustration in 1989 from the Academy of Art in San Francisco. I've worked as a freelance sign painter/graphic designer, then graphic designer/illustrator. For the past twenty-three years I've focused on oil painting, but am now also going full circle back to the media I first fell in love with, pen and ink. I'm a member of the California Art Club, an Associate Member of American Women Artists and a Fellow of The Explorers Club. My work has appeared in a variety of prestigious national juried shows since 2003.
    Susan Fox

    The (whatever you end up doing in it) Of The Two Towers. Because how many people can say they own The Two Towers for reals.

  36. So how does that cigar box guitar sound in your new church?

    (My three string thing’s body is made from a piece of plywood. Playing it in the bathroom doesn’t make it sound any better than it should.)

  37. I haven’t been to Bradford, so I don’t know if the town has a bookstore. If not, my vote’s for you to start one in your church. And a possible name for your new store: The Scalzi Coffee and Book Jubilee.

  38. Just buy the whole block and name it … well … “Writer’s Block”

  39. As for who buy a fraction of a church, I nearly did! Was looking for a condo. And near were I wanted to buy there was a church with a similar ending to yours (not enough people, got merge elsewhere). But a contractor bought it, and convert it to condo. So yes, you can (and people have) buy part of a church.

  40. In Bradford-on-Avon, we stopped in at the tourist bureau. They said we should go see the old church, but that it’s also worth seeing the new church, which is Norman. Yours is … a bit newer.

    I’ve got an electric guitar that looks about like that, except for being natural wood color instead of painted. Fun to play!

  41. Congratulations! I hope your new acquisition does what you need it to and gives all the Scalzis joy. But be warned, the whole starting a new millennial religion is Right. Off. The. Table–or the tabernacle, as the case may be. Bacon Cat would not be amused, and that won’t be pretty….

  42. I also googled around for it, and wow, even at list price that is way less than I would have expected a whole building of that size to go for, even one that would need structural work done to convert it into not-a-church. Assuming you need to, of course, since we don’t know what you guys wanted office/storage space yet. Y’all got a good deal there. Excited to see what you use it for!

  43. Dear Mr. Scalzi:

    I have to admit, I cannot quite picture WHAT plans you would have for the use of a church building, though I suppose that there would be enough space to set up a small business. I cannot help but wonder, since you have already said that you have no intention of creating your own religion, just what your intentions are.

    I like you, as a crazy entertainer (writer), but … there are times when I definitely feel that the proper conclusion must be that you are at least a bit crazier than I am (and THAT is saying something).

    Sincerely,

    Niall C. Shapero

  44. Somebody bought the AME church down at the end of my block a while back. When they took possession, they put a sign out front notifying the neighborhood that they were “Under New Deities.”

    Also, with regard to cigar box guitars, they can be pretty awesome:

  45. When we were touring Ireland after the 2019 WorldCon, we found a deconsecrated cathedral in Sligo Town that had been transformed into the public library. I thought that was a most fitting way for a house of worship to evolve.

    It is likely to be a bit pricey to bring those cement stairs in line with current ADA regs, but it’s a really pretty building nonetheless. And I am sure that you and Krissy factored that cost into your calculations along with whatever other renovations you plan.

    Have fun, and I look forward to updates!

  46. Nice looking building, and a bargain if my Google searches are to be believed! :)

    Looks like you have a lot of space there and I am thinking a bookstore, some offices and storage, and maybe even some kind of performance venue (that stage looks pretty good!) And I’m thinking some kind of annual Scalzi jubilee with its own specialist venue now :)

  47. Stephanie L. Weippert – Puget Sound, Washington State, U.S.A. – Hi! I write about flying carpets and flying cookies in my books. Welcome to my blog.
    Stephanie

    My suggestion is the First Pastafarian Church of Bradford.

  48. A building like a church, can in a case like this end up being cheap because it has some disadvantages. It’s got spaces that are big and awkward for most businesses to utilize, and maintenance costs that go with them. Like the high ceilinged cathedral, lots of wasted cubic footage if you were using it as office or living space, that costs money to heat. The large dated kitchen most businesses wouldn’t use, etc. It’s great that you’ve found a match for your needs.
    If it was in a different area, someone would have bought if only to tear it down or close to that to make it into a completely different space to rent out for far more money.

  49. Fair warning — the stained glass looks beautiful, but it’s not known for insulating value. If the church hadn’t already put clear glass on one or both sides of those windows to block drafts (and being a Midwest congregation, they may have), you might want to consider it.

    Hope you and Krissy have an easy time renovating this into whatever your future plans call for.

  50. One of the things I love about the comments here is what I was gonna chime in with an Arlo Guthrie reference and two people beat me to it!

    I am presuming that what with recycling and being good citizens… John, Athena, and Christie are unlikely to be looking for a place to dump the garbage.

    pax / Ctein

  51. With apologies to California Dreaming:
    I stopped into a church
    that Scalzi bought today.
    Well, I got down on my knees
    but it was not to pray….
    (complete this as you see fit)

  52. Gonna confess, I did NOT see that one coming. Church renovations are always interesting, it’s tough to do anything with the sanctuary other than a meeting/performance space without spending a ton of money, but the rest of the building usually already comes with office space, meeting rooms, storage space, restrooms, often kitchen space, there’s a number of directions you can go with that. Nice.

  53. Congrats (again) on the purchase. Can’t wait to see what you’ll do with it. If the guitar pose a hint?

    True story, while house hunting we looked at two historic churches for sale. Unfortunately both had structural issues, and I wasn’t as handy or versed in construction as I am now (or we might have bought the one). It would have made an awesome living space.

  54. Interesting. I play guitar (in an amateurish way) with a bunch of people at a church bought by a guy who found it cheap.

    Good acoustics.

  55. well, I, too, was going to mention what Arlo Guthrie has done w/Alice’s former residence/church; the now Guthrie Center in Great Barrington, MA, is a wonderful part of the local community- and, in fact, IS a community center now. Good luck, and, well, damn! How absolutely cool!

  56. There is here in the Northwest a chain of brewpubs (McMenamin’s) that’s made a practice out of buying interesting older properties and converting them into brewpubs (and sometimes movie theaters and hotels, or combined brewpubs/theaters/hotels); I think a handful of churches are among the sites they’ve developed over the years. So there is certainly precedent for converting classic church buildings for business use. It would not therefore surprise me if you got into the brewpub/theater business, though it’s certainly not your only possible objective.

    As to possible Scalzi-led theological ventures, I’d propose:

    The Order of the Folded Tortilla

    # The Society of Canonical Baconians
    # The Sacred Shrine of the Ukuleles of Chaos
    # The Rational Order of Scientifically Wise, Esoteric, & Loyal Logicians
    (aka the ROSWELLs)

  57. Dude. You have a stage, you have instruments, and you have a lot of friends who are professional musicians. I hope the business and/out community ideas your working on capitalize on those facts.

  58. Given that the Proprietor’s politics don’t match the local community’s demographics, may I suggest — on many levels indeed — the Church of the Poisoned Mind? And it looks like it has better acoustics than wherever Culture Club recorded that anyway.

  59. hmmm… not-so-secret lair from which to plan your next attempt to conquer the world? for sure you’d need one mega big space for the control center & telecommunications hub with twelve foot high screens for displaying orbital intercepts of your NonJewishSpaceLasers… if I was still in my forties I’d try renting it from you for a kick-arse-jam-session beer-bash-and-barbeque…

    …just gonna slow-kill me not knowing what you’ll be doing with it

  60. Dan Ladle – Perth, WA – Part Man, Part Machine, All Diabetic. 1 Wife, 1 Son, 1 Daughter, 1 Cat, 1 Insulin Pump, Type 1 Diabetic, Writer, Musician, Web-Monkey, Idiot.
    Dan Ladle

    Please call it the First Church of the Latter Day Kaiju Preservation Society.

  61. Put me on the “You got an ORGAN!” list, please.

  62. Joseph M Kurtenbach – Eugene, Oregon – Joseph M Kurtenbach has lived in many places and worked in many fields, including surveying and drafting, construction, truck driving, airport security, veterinary technology, zoo keeping, laboratory technology, and information technology. He earned Associate of Applied Science degrees in Veterinary Technology and Computer Information Systems, and loves science and technology and learning new things. Also, in what seems like another lifetime, he earned fixed-wing and helicopter pilot licenses–the best he could do without a wyvern. He's a bit of an inventor, and patented a type of modular bookshelves. He also found another perfect outlet for his creativity in fantasy fiction, and started writing in his early twenties. A couple of his early short works appeared in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine and Mythic Circle. After many adventures, Joe developed chronic illness in his forties. It was not the midlife crisis he had hoped for, but nevertheless he sometimes uses this experience in his writing. Joe grew up in a small farm town in Nebraska. He currently resides in Eugene, Oregon.
    Joe Kurtenbach

    Holy parapets and crenellations, John! It’s practically a castle.

  63. At this point I have the general impression you didn’t sleep for 30 hours and then bought a church, but I suppose I must have misunderstood the order of events. Though there’s an element of plausibility to that. I recall something of that sort in an old Dilbert cartoon, involving the intervention of an Inca monkey god.

    Anyway, carry on, Mr. and Mrs. Church Lady.

  64. Obviously you need to open up that belfry thing and install a giant, illuminated, rotating Screaming Head Of John Scalzi in that space.

  65. Congratulations!
    Can’t wrap my head around why someone who has 20 DUNAMS* YARD would need more space…. perspective is everything!

    Dunam = 1000 square meters ~ 1/4 acre

  66. I am deeply coveting your lectern. Lectern-envy in fact.

    My wife is a UK Baptist Minister-in-Training*, and I’ve wanted to get her a lectern for sooo long.

    Not like your bonkers Westboro lot – uk Baptists do weird things like help refugees, and run homeless shelters, and groups to support new parents’ mental health, wacky stuff like that.

  67. I was also wondering about the acoustics. A small chamber ensemble, perhaps?

    The Scalzi Recording Label is your next business. I can see it now.

  68. Is there any parking space in the back?

    If the couches came with it, you’ve got at least one for each of your pets.

    All in all, deeply cool.

  69. 140+ comments in and nobody has made a “The Methodist ghosts have formed a Nomination Committee in order to select an Exploratory Discussion Committee which will address the possibility of forming a Scalzi Human Relations Committee” joke? I confess myself disappointed. (Grew up Methodist, so I’m allowed, per the Self-Deprecation Committee.)

  70. Neat! I love it when old buildings are repurposed, instead of bulldozed. I my city, a large church is now a community Town Hall, that hosts readings, small concerts, lectures by smart people, art fairs , as well as office space for various small non profits. Since you are already a corporation, you could probably write off the space as business facility, and events as charitable contributions. Etc. As I’m sure you (and Krissy) know. 😁

  71. If they were Methodist ghosts, they’d be polite, but the incessant hymn singing would possibly drive you bonkers.

    Also, you did increase your allotment of musical instruments- various guitars, the Beast, a bass or two, keyboards, that box guitar thing, and one giant bell.

  72. Jason Kaczor – London ON, Canada – Jason Kaczor has been providing technical solutions to business problems for 29 years; covering nearly all industry sectors. An active Microsoft technology community member and leader, Jason is a former 6-time Microsoft MVP award-winner in Microsoft Office Servers and Services / Office 365 & SharePoint Architecture. Jason has extensive expertise in: Solutions / Applications Architecture, Systems / Application Integration, Cloud Architecture, Infrastructure Architecture & Operations, Software Design / Engineering / Development, , Business Analysis, Training, Mentoring, Public Speaking, Applications / Systems Support, Reviews / Assessments / Post-mortems & Health-Checks. Jason's primary technology specialties include: SharePoint, Office 365, Azure / SQL Azure, SQL Server, .NET & Visual Studio. Formerly a Premier Field Engineer/Rapid Response Engineer for Microsoft Canada, he provided SharePoint and .NET expertise worldwide. While at Microsoft he was involved in several unique initiatives, including; Bad Guy Patrol and the Child Exploitation Tracking System (CETS). He is active in technology-focused user groups and community-based initiatives, previously a co-founder of the Calgary SharePoint User Group (CalSPUG). Jason is available to speak at conferences & user groups worldwide.
    Jason Kaczor

    Is it haunted?

    Whenever I get the hankering to search-up old church properties, my wife is always completely agains’t the idea…

    “It will be haunted” she says.

    Why I inevitably proclaim!

    No one actually dies in the church – sure, they host funerals, maybe even an associated cemetary. But – aren’t ghosts supposed to haunt the place they died? What are the rules, really?

  73. Richard Winks – Long time Sci/Tech lover and practitioner, socially tolerant, fiscally conservative, apolitical, unremarkably ordinary, admitted pedant, long suffering cynic. @dwinx49r on Twitter
    Richard Winks

    You could show silent movies.
    I’m assuming the organ works. You just need an organist for accompaniment.

  74. You are aware of the fact that, in order to start a religion, one doesn’t need to want to start a religion…?

    Praise the Bacon Cat!

  75. First Assembly Of The Bacon Cat as the new name of the church works for me. So questions:

    Will the space be used to allow traveling authors to do readings there?
    Can part of it be converted into a concert space or even a community meeting room for, say, gay/straight alliances?
    Would the place be available to women’s groups who want to provide abortion information or services?

  76. John you are looking fit and trim in the photo, no hibernation fat on you. Good job!

    As many people have said, “Pipe Organ!” the mind reels with the possibilities.

    The curved pews are wonderful, I bet you can resell them.

    Stain glass windows are beautiful, will they stay or go?

    Replacing the stain glass windows, with scenes from the Old Man’s War series and/or themed with your new endeavors.
    .

  77. The great Leon Russell, Master of Time and Space, bought a church in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he recorded (he also had his own record label, Shelter). And he called the place… The Church Studio. The place fell into disrepair through the years but has recently been bought by a fan and is now restored and is going to be a museum to Leon and also a recording studio again. You can look it up! It’s a really cool building and really cool idea.

  78. Congrats on your purchase of a building that was formerly a church. Church buildings are great, they often have ‘character’ in their architecture (otherwise lacking in other available spaces), come with spaces designed for an audience and main space with good acoustics (often with separate/ dedicated office and/or living space) as mentioned above …great for a music/ small theatre venue, or a pub (or coffeeshop) with a stage, for a comedy club, or poetry slams or what have you- good luck with whatever venture you had in mind

  79. I like it! Well done!

    In Tulsa, we have the Church Studio, a church Leon Russell purchased and converted to a recording studio. Much local history. Purchased and renovated recently. Had I the means, and talent, I know I would have cheerfully purchased it! Wish you well!

  80. I vote for your first proposed name, Church of the Infinite Burrito. I mean, it was a church – the infinite is already baked in.

  81. Well, you could convert the belfry in that bell tower, to a bat sanctuary. Good for the environment, your community ( bats eat lots of mosquitoes ), and having read several of your books, I can of nothing more appropriate for your new acquisition.

  82. You do know that it will be called “the old Methodist Church” with “on Church Street” appended if more clarification is needed for at least the next decade. At least locally….

    (The Free Methodist Church down the road sold their facility to a group of Buddhist monks 15 years ago, and despite the sign out front, most people still call it the ‘the monastery where the Free Methodist Church used to be’. Heck, the new high school was built over 20 years ago, and it’s only in the last 5 years or so that people have stopped referring to the old one as “the old high school”. :) Small towns are fun.)

    A Methodist ghost will likely be haunting the kitchen, cooking or serving food, or cleaning up after a meal.

  83. Do the Methodists have to do some sort of rite to de-sanctify a church? Is it still holy ground? Basically, what I’m getting at here is: When Duncan Macleod shouts, “There can be only one!” and attacks him, will John Scalzi fight back? Or does he wait for the The Highlander to be struck down by a bolt of lightning?

    This whole “Oops, I bought a church by accident” ploy may be just a clever way for Scalzi to dispatch his rivals via divine retribution.

  84. A new music room that whiffs of other things besides Eau de Chat! Noice!

    (I love me some furry felines, but at times, their aromas are enough to peel the paint right off the walls)

  85. Whatever you wind up using it for, I hope you can keep the stained glass windows. Those are lovely.

  86. Fun!

    About twenty years ago or so, a friend of mine in the UK bought a chapel to turn into their home. It was one of two properties available: the other was the pub next door. No one wanted the pub to close, so they got the chapel. It’s made a very fun home to live in, unusual for sure, but fun.

    Good luck with your church and whatever you do with it! :)

  87. “Spotty at best”….ugh i wish….scientology has made tons of money….maybe you SHOULD start one to counter the effects of the damage the others have caused.

  88. This will someday end with something like the Bradford Guitar Museum which will then belong to the Scalzi Foundation, won’t it?

  89. Okay, I’m so late to the party that I know this suggestion is likely to be lost/unread, but…hear me out.

    So, you live at the Scalzi Compound, right?
    Clearly, this place needs to be the Scalzi Complex.
    As a writer and therefore de facto grammar nerd, it’s perfect.

  90. There’s a small problem:

    Due to an unfortunate construction oversight, opening the belfry shutters immediately vents all the air into space. Might want to fix that little glitch.

  91. Congragulations!

    Might I point out that one of the greatest of all ecclesiastical buildings–the Parthenon in Athens–is a temple to Athena?

    In connection with which, I’m groping here for some segue to “having lost its (or your) marbles,” but it just won’t come…

    Also, I don’t know if the church is haunted, but I shudder to think what might be living in some of those couches in the basement.

  92. Wow! #lifegoals
    How have so few people in the comments mentioned those windows? I love stained glass, and these are quite lovely. The outside architecture and brick are really nice, too. And it has a balcony, curved pews, and an organ. This place really has it all, lots of character. Hope you’ve got nice plans.

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