Old church makes new home for Castleton employee

MacArthur Stine poses infront of St. Mark's Church in Castleton
with his dog. Stine is currently converting the old church into a home.

A Castleton College worker is bringing the old St. Mark’s Church at the intersection of Main and Seminary streets back to life as his future home.

MacArthur Stine, 35, director of technical services at the Fine Arts Center, bought the former church in August.

“It looked like a neat building and I don’t want to wake up early,” said Stine, who currently lives in Fair Haven with his dog, Sue Bear. “I wanted to own something. Let’s see if that plans out.”

A slate walkway leads to the church, with its moss-covered roof and exterior in need of some fresh paint. Five trees block the sun from gleaming on the perfect stained glass of its windows.

He has been working on the church nights and weekends and has been calling in a lot of favors for help. His mother, Betsy Stine, has been helping him spruce up the building, inside and out.

“Today I had a different job, but come back when it is finished,” she said, before resuming vacuuming the church.

Stine plans to live in the church with his trusty American golden retriever. He said the place is modernized but he’ll need to do some electrical work to make it more like a house.

Upon entering the old church, the smell of decades old wood still fills the air. The stain on the wood of the alter shines like it was applied yesterday. The architecture of the chapel is in great condition and the old stained glass is in beautiful condition, except for one.

“It was pretty empty. A few flagpoles, an old instruction manual for services and candlesticks,” he said. “It is structurally great, bones are fine, and right now just needs a new paint job.”

The basement holds Stine’s purchases from yard sales, a beat up dresser that needs a new coat, a tennis ball and several pieces of wood that lean up against the walls. Stine said he finally has a place to hoard his stuff.

An older woman walking past the Castleton library seemed to reminisce a little when asked about it coming back to life as a home.

“Sad to see it’s closing, but people can do what they want with their property,” said the woman, who declined to give her name.

Stine is planning to keep the church white, but said he may add some green trim. The stained glass is staying too, he said.

“Just trying to breathe a little life into it,” said Stine. “I am getting half done this fall and waiting on funds to finish the rest.”

Stine hopes to move into the church in summer 2015.

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