New Life Church attempts to restore Trinity Methodist Church, may need to move

WICHITA — In 2010, a group of developers announced plans to convert the historic Trinity Methodist Church in Delano into apartments.

That never happened.

New Life Church has been meeting at the building, which is at 411 S. Martinson, and pastor Fred Hayes wants to make sure it remains a church.

“We’ve been striving to refurbish and bring it back to its former glory,” Hayes says. “We’ve been laboring trying to get it back up to par.”

Hayes says if his church can’t make it there, the building could become something else. He calls it “a very real reality.”

He says the apartments didn’t happen because the developers couldn’t get the historic designation they needed for tax credits to rehabilitate the building.

“That’s why they didn’t pursue it.”

The building was built in 1906 and at one time was one of the biggest churches in the city. Until recently, its address was 1409 W. Maple, but that changed due to some additions to the building.

Hayes says there are some immediate concerns with the property, such as fixing the heating and roof.

“It’s just a lot of work that needs to be done,” he says.

Hayes says he’d like tax credit money, too, but he’s mainly looked to individuals for help.

“We’ve just been trying to find private dollars, people who can just help us get it done.”

It’s not working, though, and Hayes is getting close to giving up.

“At this point, we’re even ready to throw in the towel.”

Though he’s not completely given up yet, Hayes is already eyeing other possibilities.

“I’m just (coming from) actually looking at other places to go.”