The air was filled with diesel smoke and the sound of cracking lumber on the west side of Greenfield as demolition crews razed a house that sat behind the Church of Christ in the village for decades.
It is not clear how the parsonage, torn down last week to make space for church parking, came to be at 118 Edgewood Ave. in the village.
Some say it was built there 70 or 80 years ago. Others say it was moved there from North Street when houses were being moved to make room for the athletic field between McClain Street and North Street.
The Highland County Auditor’s Office lists the house as being built in 1901; however, according to local property owner and Greenfield Church of Christ board member Brent Johnson, that date may have just been entered for the purposes of having a date on record.
Johnson said no one really knows how old the house was, or how it got to where it stood.
The decision to raze the building was made earlier this year by the Greenfield Church of Christ Board of Directors.
The church owned the building and had used it as a parsonage since the 1960s. In 2010, the church’s youth pastor, Dusty Barrett, and his family moved in and held youth group meetings at the residence.
After they moved out, the house was left empty, and the church’s board was left to decide what to do with the property.
Johnson said church officials felt razing the building would be more beneficial than fixing it up, since demolishing it will leave space for parking and events.
“We were actually going to re-do the parsonage for more youth center stuff, but it needs way too much work,” he said. “The ground where the parsonage is at is going to be cut down… so it will all be all yard. They are getting ready to re-blacktop the old parking lot as well as the new one we just installed, where the new gravel was put down.”
Johnson said the estimated date of completion for the project is sometime within the next month.
The Greenfield Church of Christ is currently pastored by Danny Dodds. Sunday School services begin at 9:30 a.m. and worship services begin at 10:30 a.m. An evening service is held at 6 p.m. every Wednesday.
The church regularly hosts several community-based events.
Two of the most popular are Light the Night at Halloween, where the church parking lot is transformed into a small, carnival like atmosphere with games and candy for kids.
The church also hosts a live nativity scene that begins in early December and runs through the Christmas season.
Johnson said the church currently supports eight mission fields on a regular basis, including orphanages in Ohio and mission work in Zimbabwe.
For more information on the Greenfield Church of Christ, the church office can be reached at 937-981-2484 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/greenfieldcoc.
Mark Branham is a Greenfield resident and contributor to The Times-Gazette.