Sapulpa church on the auction block is sold

Friday, January 27th 2006, 9:46 am
By: News On 6

Something that doesn’t happen too often. In fact, the auctioneer told us this was a first for him. He sold a Sapulpa church and everything in it Friday.

As News on 6 reporter Rick Wells explains, the man who bought the building, went there just to buy a few chairs.

Things were a little slow to get going. The reason was the crowd. They came from all over Oklahoma, some from churches and some just curious. Many were potential bidders, they all had to register. Finally, they were about ready to go.

"We have a very simplistic contract, we sell as is where is." And the first thing on the block is the building itself, built in 1926, been the First Assembly of God church since 1968. “All bids said and done, I got 260, now 261, fair warning, this is the last call ladies and gentlemen. Sold to bidder number 35, for $260,000 give him a big hand ladies and gentlemen."

Some how John Beighle doesn't look overjoyed, why not? Here's a clue, he came here hoping to buy some chairs. John Beighle: "I came early, walked around looked at the building; the more I looked the more it grew on me."

He said he prayed about it and wrote down a number, $262,000, and he got it for less.

That was just the beginning. The auction continued, they sold the organ and you can't buy an organ if you haven't heard it play. They like the sound because somebody bought it for a thousand bucks. The pews went, the costumes, communion table, everything upstairs and down.

Pastor Larry Warnock was happy; it'll give his shrinking congregation a new start. Someone not very happy was long time Sapulpa resident Bill Wells. "It's perhaps the second saddest day of my life. I loved this church."

Mr. Wells and several other folks we talked to are concerned about what will become of it now. The new owner of the church building says he has no idea. Rick Wells: "You gonna buy anything else, you gonna buy those chairs?" John Beighle: "I can't afford 'em." I guess his church in Broken Arrow will have to get its chairs some place else.

The new owner did say his plan is to preserve the building. He said it would be sad if anything happened to it.