Reeves United Methodist Church, a church that has been in Orlando for nearly 100 years, permanently closed their doors leaving parishioners without a place to worship. The church was scheduled to close May 1 to be re-opened later this year as a daycare center, but decided to shut down a couple weeks early. Church volunteers were left to pack up their belongings while a locksmith was changing the locks, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

The church was not just home to the roughly 30 church members, but was also home to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) groups, as well as a rehearsal and storage location for the Central Florida Sounds of Freedom Band & Color Guard and a meeting space for the Orlando Youth Alliance.

“OYA has met at Reeves for the past three years. We held our support group and drop-ins there,” says OYA chief executive officer Michael Slaymaker. “We learned of the closing a couple of months ago and relocated our support group to The Center on Mills. We are moving our drop-in and other youth activities to people’s homes until we can find a place that can handle larger gatherings.”

According to the Sentinel’s article, the church’s pastor informed the AA and NA groups they could continue their meetings at Reeves, but so far no such offer has been extended to the Central Florida Sounds of Freedom leaving them, as of right now, without a home.

As for Reeves, Slaymaker has nothing but gratitude to them, saying “they took in the OYA, the Sounds of Freedom, AA and other LGBT groups for years. Sanctuary is a word that comes to mind. They acted like a Christian church the way God intended. I understand the building will be turned into a daycare center. Obviously a different direction but they are a business.”

Image from United Methodist Church website

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