‘Ok… this is genius’: Woman saves local church from being demolished by moving it into her backyard and giving it a makeover

‘Ok… this is genius’: Woman saves local church from being demolished by moving it into her backyard and giving it a makeover

The videos uploaded to TikTok comes in all shapes and sizes. Some are drenched in drama, others are wholesome tear-jerkers, and some are simply too captivating to scroll away from.

The latter is among my favorite genres of TikTok, as artists, creatives, and supreme storytellers reel me in with whatever tale, project, or ambition they’ve set their sights on this time. It’s a category all its own, on the social media app, and TikTok user Megan Barnes is the latest to catch my attention with her enthralling refurbishment of a doomed church.

The local church in Barnes’ area was set to be demolished, until the TikToker stepped in to save it. Barnes swooped in, hero that she is, and bought up the church, had it relocated to a tidy section of land on her property, and set to work fixing it up.

Barnes quickly set out tackling a daunting list of necessary changes the church has been needing for years. thesiding and roof need replaced, the plaster needs repairing, it needs to be painted both inside and out, it needs wires put in, it requires new floors, and that’s before the small things like decor and pews are approached. It’s a truly massive project, but Barnes quickly proved herself to be just the woman for the job.

@megbarnes22

The church has finally landed and I finished my first renovation project. Cant wait to tackle the next one!

♬ original sound – Megan Barnes

Her first step was the gorgeous window situated near the top, which was removed years before and thus needed to be completely re-crafted. Barnes, who doesn’t have the cash for a fresh set of stained glass, took matters into her own hands and crafted a gorgeous faux-stained glass window that rivals the real deal.

Sporting swans as an homage to her grandparents, who absolutely adored the church, Barnes walks viewers through the process of meticulously piecing together a window that looks just like the genuine product, but costs a fraction of the price. Through that act alone, she gave viewers a glimpse of what the finished product will look like, and earned herself a hefty new selection of followers in the process.

There are a few dozen more projects on Barnes’ to-do list, but she seems more than comfortable with the daunting project. She’s tackling things one by one, and taking viewers along for the ride, something TikTok couldn’t be more grateful for.

Barnes’ dedication to saving the church is a boon to her community — it’s already booked for several weddings in 2025 — but it’s also doing the work to push back on a trend that’s emerging across the U.S.

Churches aren’t as popular as they once were, and as a result we’ve seen a wave of closures hit the states, particularly in the wake of COVID-19. Typically, the number of freshly-constructed churches outnumber the amount of closures in a year, but that trend is starting to shift. We’re seeing thousands of churches, on average, close each year, without an equal or greater number of replacements constructed.

If only for that reason, and not her dedication to saving a staple of her town and childhood, Barnes’ work is singularly noble. I’m not a church person myself, but I recognize the importance of these structures to a huge number of people in this country, and the care and compassion displayed by Barnes as she puts her money, time, and effort to task for a treasured structure is utterly admirable.

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