Robinson church rebuilding underway

Robinson Church

ROBINSON, Ill. (WTHI) The summer construction season is in full swing across the Wabash Valley. We’ve told you about schools and road projects, in Robinson, Illinois one church is finally coming back together.

More than a year and half after a fire devastated their historic sanctuary on Christmas night those flames of destruction giving way to walls of construction; for the First United Methodist Church.

“Oh (the folks) are just elated, they just can’t wait,” Ken Mattsey, head of the new building committee said.

The pleasant, but uncharacteristically cool July air is perfect on this Tuesday afternoon as construction crews laid the first of more than 100 roof trusses are into place.

“Soon as we got the trusses on the old, then we’ll move over erecting the three walls for the new part, get those all shored up,” he explained.

When we last caught up with Mattsey, the finals plans were well, not final. But on this afternoon, the vision of the new sanctuary is more vivid than ever.

“It’s very similar to the old one, the old building. We’ll have the big stained glass window that was in the front, we’ll have it in there. We’ll have the bell tower with the original bell from 1899 in it. So it’ll look a lot like the old one.”

When the church was originally built in the 1890s it cost the congregation around $15,000. But the renovation is going to cost the church closer to $3 million. Luckily all of that is covered by the insurance from the fire. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you confirm your email address and acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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