Last week, we reported that weekly basketball players, the Old Timers’ League, were being evicted from their play space at Trinity United Methodist church (6512 23rd Ave NW). We just learned that Green Lake Presbyterian Church are the buyers — they plan to move their congregation to Trinity in February.
Pastor David Richmon from Green Lake Presbyterian says they plan to spend roughly $2 million to renovate the church, which was built in 1920.
“It’s like a time capsule,” Richmon said.
It’s not up to ADA code, nor has it been seismically retrofitted. Reenforcing original brick walls, securing the roof, updating the first floor bathroom and a few aesthetic upgrades are all on the agenda for the renovation.
“We were fortunate to be able to purchase Trinity,” Richmon said. “We’re grateful it didn’t go into the hands of a developer who would tear it down to build condos. And, we’re thankful to keep part of historic Seattle going.”
Green Lake Presbyterian’s 350-strong congregation will have their first service at Trinity in early February. Richmon said before then, they’ll be going around to let neighbors know they’re moving in.
“There’s a big difference between 50 people on a Sunday and 350 people on a Sunday,” Richmon said, recognizing that parking and congestion could be an issue.
Trinity United, while it is a smaller congregation, is well known for its weekly Soup Kitchen and, as we reported, its weekly basketball league. While he says he wants strong ties with the community, Richmon said there will be a “pause” in outreach work, while they determine what they can offer the community.
“We want to go back to the drawing board. Our values are the same, but what does that look like for us? Maybe in eight months we pick up the Soup Kitchen, or maybe open a women’s shelter.” He added that he hopes to connect with other churches in the area to learn what’s needed.
“We want to ask, what are you already doing, and how can we jump in?”
The Old Timer’s League practice space will also be on pause, he said. While he’d like to be able to offer the league the gym straight away, there will be a transition time during which they’ll need the gym space for storage and renovation materials.
“We realize that Ballard is a tight-knit community – the last thing we want neighbors to feel is that we are moving in and booting people,” he said, adding that he’s meeting with members of the team next week to talk about possibilities.
Trinity’s new name will be Trinity Church Seattle, which Richmon said honors both the building and the previous owner.
We’ve reached out to Trinity United Methodist to learn about their future plans, but they’re closed until the New Year. We’ll update with any new information.
Photos: Screenshot from Trinity Tour video (featured photo), and David Richmon from Green Lake Presbyterian’s website.