Main fundraiser photo

To Save a Church

Donation protected
(This total includes donations from PayPal, Venmo and cash or checks)

Thank you so much to those who have donated so far!  ❤️

Many of you know me from restoring historic cemeteries and sharing the life stories of those who have come before us. To me, this is the saddest story I’ve shared with you so far and I really need your help.

In 1894 a tiny town called North Brookfield in Central NY was in need of a church. The local wagon maker, Charles Edward Barnes (my great great grandpa), became one of its first trustees and builders. $1552 and one year later, St Mary’s Catholic Church was finished, debt free.

But to me... it will always be my Grandma Betty’s church.

For over 100 years this 30 x 50 foot building would witness both the celebrations and heartbreaks of its congregation. It wasn't just a place of worship but a place for them to share in each other’s lives. My ancestors and those of this community still here today devoted their lives to this little building.

In 2013, the church was closed and sold to the Town of Brookfield. After its contents had been given away to loving new homes, my dad stood with Grandma Betty and as she locked the doors for the last time he said, “Mom, you might as well burn it down now because you aren’t going to like what happens to it in the years to come.”

Grandma passed away five years later but fortunately my dad was wrong and it has stayed in amazing shape with minimal damage... but unfortunately there are plans to demolish it. The Town desperately needs a parking lot here at the park and the only place to put it is right where the church sits. They don’t want to see it gone either, none of us do, but they have no use for the building and soon maintenance costs will be too much for them to handle. However, they were willing to sell it to me if I can get it out of here. So I bought a church for $1.

Because of insurance I can’t tear it down to put back up so my only option is to move it. The plan is to bundle it up nice and tight and slide it across the Town’s baseball park this winter, then up through my dad’s fields to the original Barnes Homestead less than half a mile away where we can keep it safe. To cover the cost of a basic foundation and a moving company to do this, it's going to be at least $100,000. My dreams of remodeling it back to its 1895 glory to be used by our community again are on hold for now and I’m focussed just on saving it. I wasn't in the market for a church and this is purely for sentimental reasons but it’s Grandma Betty’s church and a part of our town’s history, I just can’t bear to watch it be torn down.

I hate asking people for money and I definitely don’t expect anyone to contribute but I set this up because I’m fully committed to this project and I’m desperate. Even if it’s just $10, every penny will make a huge difference to my family and our community to save this historic landmark.

There are no words for how grateful I am to all of you who contribute.
Megan Barnes

Other ways to help...
Venmo: @tosaveachurch
Paypal: @MBarnes251
Mail: Megan Barnes, P.O. Box 362, Madison NY 13402

 GoFundMe Giving Guarantee

This fundraiser mentions donating through another platform, but please know that only donations made on GoFundMe are protected by the GoFundMe Giving Guarantee.



  • Grace Kelley
    • $50 
    • 22 d
  • Jillian Barnes
    • $100 
    • 1 mo
  • Chelsea Moore
    • $5 
    • 2 mos
  • Neely Jason
    • $25 
    • 4 mos
    • $100 
    • 4 mos


Megan Barnes
North Brookfield, NY

Your easy, powerful, and trusted home for help

  • Easy

    Donate quickly and easily

  • Powerful

    Send help right to the people and causes you care about

  • Trusted

    Your donation is protected by the GoFundMe Giving Guarantee