Hope in a No-Growth Town
Growth in this little church seemed impossible. The First Christian Church in Albany, Kentucky, was started by sixteen people in 1834. Descendants from two of the original families are still members. The original church building was destroyed by fire on March 20, 1926. The congregation, broke and in despair, made their own bricks, built a new church, and moved in it November 6, 1927. Today that same building is in use.
The church suffered a split in the late 1950s. By the late 1980s, attendance had dropped to an average of twenty. The Sunday school was in the low teens. The youth program had two members (a 12-year-old girl and a 5-week-old boy). Most members were retired.
This small church is located in a non-growth town. Albany (pop.: 2,500) is in south central Kentucky. While the scenery is breathtakingly beautiful, there is little industry in the county, and unemployment runs high. The nearest medium-size city is fifty-five miles away. Almost all our young people leave town ...1