The long-standing Lincoln Road United Church has been sold and the historic building that was erected 100 years ago for Protestant Christians will now serve Windsor’s Muslim community.
The Masjid Noor-Ul-Islam Madressa and Cultural Centre of Windsor is not yet in full operation, but crosses came down and new signs recently went up for the mosque.
The building, constructed in 1915 as a Methodist Church, had been for sale for almost three years. It sold in February for under $500,000, significantly less than the United Church’s original asking price of $895,000.
“It was very sad when we closed but our resources were dwindling and the congregation was getting older and reducing in size,” said Ross Mitton, chair of the finance and property committee of the United Church Essex Presbytery. “Unfortunately, there just wasn’t enough of the next generation — and I’m talking about 60 years old — taking the (church director) positions. So it had to close.”
Mitton, who attended the neo-gothic church for 25 years, expects to see the impressive stained-glass windows, which depict Biblical scenes and which were custom made for the space, eventually covered.
“Their religion is different than ours, but it’s still going to be used as a house of God,” Mitton said. “So we were OK with that.”
The Masjid Noor-Ul-Islam Madressa and Cultural Centre of Windsor, established in 1983, was a longtime neighbour of the church, operating in a cramped house in the 700 block of Lincoln Road for years.
The building is listed under the heritage act but not designated, which means the new owners can renovate the property but cannot demolish it.