The Masonic Building, on the northeast corner of the intersection of Second Street and Main Avenue in downtown Greenville, has been obtained from the local Mason Lodge by Donald Jones from Northern Illinois.
Rich Stephens and Rick McPeak, both of Greenville, are part of a group that has been formed to discuss how the historic building can be used.
Stephens told WGEL the plan is to develop a spiritual/service oriented center to be used by community entities. McPeak, pastor of St. Paul’s Free Methodist Church in Greenville, said there have been discussions about the possible use of the building by the church and the Free Methodist Gateway Conference.
Stephens commented that the plans for the building are broader than Greenville College, but include the college.
Jones, a 1952 graduate of Greenville College, has been a major contributor to his alma mater, purchasing and donating the Department of Philosophy and Religion building at Locust and Main, The Light and Life Digital Media Center at Oak and First, and the Prairie Street Learning Center at Prairie and Spring.
The building in downtown Greenville, which had been for sale by the Masons for quite some time, is now owned by Jones. It consists of three floors and a basement. Stephens said there are no changes in the foreseeable future regarding the businesses on the street level of the building.
The Masonic Lodge met in the historic building for over 150 years.
Robert Ellsworth, from Wall Real Estate, who is also a Mason, said Jones purchased the former Assembly of God Church building, at the intersection of College Avenue and Dewey Street in Greenville, and traded it for the Masonic building.
Ellsworth said the former church building will be renovated for use by the Masonic Lodge.