It took a while, but members of one Putnam County church finally have a place to call home.
Harvest House Church Pastor Joel Everson and his wife Latoshia, both Greencastle natives, along with their flock of around 20 people have been meeting for services for about four years but up until now have lacked what Latoshia calls a "real" place to worship.
That changed Tuesday night when members of the Greencastle Board of Zoning Appeals voted to allow the congregation to meet in rented space on the east side of the courthouse square. The building was previously occupied by Greencastle Martial Arts but is currently vacant.
Church members asked for a special exception to be allowed to operate in a General Business District. Incidentally, churches are first on the list of allowed exceptions according to the city's ordinance.
Latoshia told board members Ed Lattanzio, Jinsie Bingham, Donnie Watson and Kathy Ferrand she feels the church, although different from everything else on the square, will fit in well. She believes it will enhance the downtown area.
"It's a good thing for us and for the area," she said.
She said church members meet for two services on Sunday, plus several morning prayer sessions during the week and special events such as plays and pitch-in dinners. Church members attend from locations such as Reelsville and Danville.
Latoshia said she and her husband don't have any major changes planned for the building itself except to take down the Greencastle Martial Arts sign and place their own sign in the front window. Since their church is small, they don't anticipate parking around the square to be a problem.
In fact, Joel said he thinks the church will provide some "stability" to the downtown area because unlike a business, it doesn't depend on profits to stay open. He hopes to rent the building for the foreseeable future.
Board members expressed their support for the church as well, voting unanimously to approve the request after a brief discussion.
Latoshia said the group plans to occupy the building immediately.
In organizational matters during Tuesday night's BZA meeting, Lattanzio was selected as chairman and Bingham as vice chairman. City Planner Shannon Norman will serve as board secretary.
Board member Barb Bryan, who is new to the board following the recent resignations of Rachel Seipel and Dee Ehrhardt, was not in attendance. The board meets at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month at city hall.