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Abandoned village in Connecticut breathes new life after purchase by the Iglesia Ni Cristo

Monday, July 10, 2017  
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62-acre historic property in East Haddam sees a chance for restoration after decades of silence

 

EAST HADDAM, Conn. – The once-thriving mill town, known as Johnsonville Village in Middlesex County in Conn., is finally off the market after a $1.85 million purchase on July 7 by the international religious organization Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC or Church Of Christ).

The 62-acre property first developed by the Neptune Twine and Cord Mill Factory in the 1800s will have an opportunity to be further restored and revived, after lightning struck the mill in 1972, forcing families to vacate the community and abandon its structures for decades. It was last turned into a Victorian-era refurbished tourist attraction, but has since grown even quieter, and is now a property of the INC.

During a time of global religious decline, the INC has increasingly purchased and renovated hundreds of worship buildings. Through the efforts of the INC, pieces of property sitting on idle lands are now providing permanent communities for people to reconnect with God.

While plans for Johnsonville Village have not been finalized, the INC is hopeful neighbors will appreciate the breath of new life into the property they might have once recognized as a cornerstone to East Haddam.

“I’ve been watching it; it’s been awful watching it get worse and worse, and not be taken care of,” East Haddam First Selectman Emmett Lyman told the crowd gathered for the July 7 signing. “I am really looking forward to what you’re going to do with it, what you’re going to bring to the town”.

Sherri Milkie, real estate agent handling the listing, echoed her gratitude for finally being able to release the property to its new owners. “You’re going to do wonderful things with this property and we’re so excited,” she said.  “We support you 100 percent”.

Many property acquisitions of  the INC are a result of its growing membership, a solution to answer the needs of its ever-expanding reach. While its closest place of worship to East Haddam is in Bristol, Conn., the INC has six other locations in the New England region, 32 total local congregations and missions in the Northeastern Seaboard of the US alone.

Surveying the needs of the region and partnering with local governments and community organizations will be a priority for the INC. Through the leadership of present Executive Minister Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, and as seen in its ongoing outreach initiatives, the INC’s presence is felt every day through teacher and service worker appreciation daysaid to the homeless, youth literacy and education, disaster relief and support, and growing missions abroad (medical and dental aid, food distribution in Africa and South America). Its activities are geared to help individuals and families both spiritually and materially – a global commitment of the INC to share its faith through acts of kindness.

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About the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ)

The Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC or Church Of Christ) is a global Church comprising more than 7,000 local congregations and missions in more than 130 countries and territories worldwide with membership of nearly 130 ethnic groups and nationalities. The Church’s unprecedented growth under the leadership of Executive Minister Brother Eduardo V. Manalo is expected to continue in 2017. Its Central Administration is in Quezon City, Philippines.

Contact

INC Media Services / Lois Paula Riturban
news1@incmedia.org
(650) 550-0629


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