Longtime LGBT-Friendly Church Departs The Castro

Longtime LGBT-Friendly Church Departs The Castro
Photo: Emily Hoyer/flickr
By Roy - Published on January 07, 2015.
The Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco, located at 150 Eureka St. in the Castro, will be selling off its property assets and leaving the neighborhood to combine with a church in Polk Gulch, according to the Bay Area Reporter. 
The church, which was formed in 1970 and has existed at the Eureka Street location since 1979, has strong ties to the LGBT community. Helmed by a gay pastor, Reverend Robert Shively, it describes itself as "an inclusive, progressive, queer community" and includes LGBT homeless outreach and participation in many gay pride parades and event. The church was also host to many of the funerals for people who died from AIDS in the '80s, much as nearby Sullivan's Funeral Home, which is slated for development, handled the funeral arrangements for AIDS victims.

Photo: Steve Rhodes Photography/flickr

According to the BAR's report, the church congregation voted to sell off their two properties on December 7th of last year, with the buildings going on the market this past Monday. The space include the church's main building, listing for $1.995 million, and an adjacent occupied four-unit apartment building, listing for $1.499 million.

The 114-year old building is "simply worn out," said Rev. Shively. "It's beyond the maintenance stage. It's simply falling down, and we've had routine inspections of it, and the engineer's report said it's past its useful life."

Residents in the adjacent apartment building are nervous they may be evicted once the new buyer takes possession, but Rev. Shively said selling both properties at the same time was in the best interest of MCC. The BAR reports that the church building could be turned into housing because of its zoning.

The proceeds from the sales would allow the church to continue offering services to those in need and expand their vision for San Francisco, according to Rev. Shively. "We are looking at ways to use the money as an endowment for the future. There will be many choices we have along the way," he told the BAR.

The church's first service at its new location, which is shared by the First Congregational Church of San Francisco at 1300 Polk Street, is planned for February 1st.