Black Rock Church in Fairfield has paused its plans to renovate the Easton Baptist Church building due to delays in planning and fundraising, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Easton Courier recently covered how religious institutions in and around Easton have responded to the pandemic and continue to serve parishioners. We reached out to Black Rock Church while researching the article for more information about the Easton Baptist Church building.
Black Rock Church’s vision for the space, which is not yet available to the public, requires the buildings to be brought up to the appropriate fire codes, along with other miscellaneous renovation. Jeremy Taylor, Black Rock Church executive director, said the main challenge was parking; there are only about 20 spots in the parking lot.
After 183 years of offering Christian ministry, the Baptist Church’s congregation had dwindled to six remaining members around 2014. The remaining members made the difficult decision to close down. Black Rock Church took over in March of 2015 and offered religious services. However, they were unable to grow the size of the congregation sufficiently, with weekly attendance averaging 12 people.
Black Rock Church stopped offering services in June 2018 and began envisioning new uses for the space. In January, church officials unveiled their vision for the facility to the congregation, before further planning was halted by the pandemic. They hope that in the next year, as a new normal emerges, they will be able to move forward with the plans.
The Easton Courier will continue to provide updates about the historic church at 29 Church Road, adjacent to Union Cemetery, as they become available.