The sad fate of Delaware County’s Mt. Pleasant Methodist Church

I have a soft spot in my heart for old, country sanctuaries. I’m sure I’ve driven by hundreds of them over the years! Although many are incompatible with the needs of huge, modern megachurches, their continued existence is testament to dwindling congregations that push against the current, passionately committed to the glorification of a higher power. I’ve always morbidly wondered what happens to the actual buildings once their membership falls off, but I’m sorry to say that I found the answer at Mt. Pleasant Methodist Church in eastern Delaware County.

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Blackford County’s old Shinn’s Chapel church

I haven’t spent a lot of time looking into them, but I’m attracted to abandoned, rural churches for the same reason I love old schoolhouses. They’re testaments to communities that once thrived but have since been forgotten, and I’m driven to try and tell their stories. Although deserted schoolhouses were often repurposed into barns, corn cribs, or sheds, it’s uncommon for old churches to be recycled in that way. Nevertheless, that’s exactly what happened to Shinn’s Chapel -later known as the Blackford Methodist Episcopal Church- in the far northeastern corner of Blackford County. 

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