OKARCHE, Okla. (KFOR) – It’s a miracle this old church building wasn’t torn down long ago.
The Congregational Church folded up.
The Methodist Church across the street bought it and used it for a while.
It’s been almost 20 years since Suzan Alig walked into the old sanctuary and had a vision.
“I came up the stairs,” she recalls. “It was evening time and the sun was beginning to set. It was just beautiful.”
Suzan’s son, John remembers attending Cub Scout meetings in the basement.
“I remember it being musty,” he says. “I wondered why my mom would want to live here.”
He was a college freshman by the time his mother bought the place.
“I’d had it for about 20 years,” she says. “And I did stick with it.”
The city was ready to tear it down when she called him to draw up plans to make it a private home.
“I hired my son, the architect,” laughs Suzan.
“I knew the structure,” says John. “I knew what we wanted to do. And I obviously knew the client.”
Suzan recalls, “I just said, ‘That’s it. This is going to be my home.'”
Architect, homeowner, and contractor all got to work on this building originally constructed in 1893.
They saved the floors.
They saved the bell, too, which is a favorite of the grandkids these days.
John built on a rectory over a garage which includes Suzan’s favorite part of the property.
“A drop-in tub and a rain head shower over here,” points John.
“I love that bathroom,” smiles Suzan. “Is that too silly to say?”
There are seven staircases connecting bedrooms, lofts, and basements.
They added a wine cellar after finding an empty space beneath the front door.
A glass floor brings in the light.
A priest guards the cellar’s contents.
“You need that in this family to guard the vineyard,” chuckles Suzan.
Two and a half years after getting started, the Kirchen Haus – German for ‘church house’ – is a home.
From the Remington sculptures, to the altar dining room, to a sanctuary now filled with light, considering all it took to bring this old church back to like the Alig family speaks in the language of near miracles.
The journey from wilderness to promise was worth the effort.
The Alig family moved into their new home in April.
Suzan’s original purchase price for the structure was $10,000.00.