Abandoned Church

For our recent Arkansas trip, we left on Sunday morning and returned Tuesday evening, so it was a short trip. But we packed in as much as we could. Our destination was the tiny town of Ponca near the Buffalo River in northwest Kansas. We chose this area because of the herd of elk that live there, and also to see the fall foliage.

Since the elk come out of the woods and into the meadows along the roads to graze only in the early morning and evening hours, we wanted to stay someplace close by so we would be able to sleep in. After a few calls, I found a house we could rent for only a $125 per night – 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, full kitchen, dining room, and living room. Yay!!  And it was only a few minutes from where the elk hang out. Double YAY!!

The house was tucked in behind an old church.

We explored the church on our first day.

The door was open.

 The window panes are mostly gone.

I wondered at first why the church was no longer being used, until I saw the attendance board inside.

Oh….  I see.

Virginia creeper is letting itself in through the window.

The old coal stove sits cold and rusting.

And the pews are filling up with dust.

 I don’t know why I, but I feel sad when I see abandoned buildings.

How about you? What thoughts run through your mind when you see buildings like this one?



Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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14 Responses

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I meant to ask: Is that Virginia Creeper creeping in the window or poision oak???

    Love the photos! Autum on the East Coast is beautiful!

  2. There’s an abandoned church up in Blackwater forest that looks the same way. So sad. Looks like they just never came back to it. A bird had built a nest in a section of the pulpit.

  3. Tina says:

    It makes me very sad. I just want to raise my hand and shout, “wait, come back”. I want to save it.

  4. Louise S says:

    Suzanne wrote:
    “For our recent Arkansas trip………..Our destination was the tiny town of Ponca near the Buffalo River in northwest Kansas.”

    You threw me on that one, Suzanne, lol. I thought, wow, you guys really took the scenic route to get to Arkansas! The name Ponca always catches my eye because I lived in Ponca City, Oklahoma, for 20 years. I never knew there was a Ponca, Arkansas, so thanks for teaching me. Old buildings never make me sad; I just wonder if the walls could talk, what would they say……. 🙂

  5. Amelia says:

    Beautiful photos Suzanne, I can almost feel the warmth of the sun on my shoulders as I look at them! Although it is sad they are now abandoned, I am glad they are still intact so that we can all appreciate their history…

  6. Nancy Weatherford says:

    I love, love, love these pictures! When I saw ya’ll had made the trip back to Ponca I was so excited…couldn’t wait to see your pictures of the crag. I do hope you took pictures of some of the old barns that are there…especially the one on the way back to the crag. It is just pretty amazing. I agree with Louise S. If those walls could talk! Thanks for sharing…glad you are back, missed your posts!

  7. Cameo says:

    Old buildings don’t make me sad.
    I’sure there were many a good word spoken in that old church.
    I’m just surprised the door was not locked.

  8. Sharon Thompson says:

    Well, as usual, your photographs are amazing…I felt right there with you on your site seeing tour. When I come upon old abandoned buildings, such as this,I can’t help but weave a picture of the occupants, that once walked through the doors, in years past. I wonder how they lived their lives and shoo on.

  9. Doe in Mi says:

    He looks lonesome to me.

  10. Debbie says:

    Interesting….at one time there must have been enough of a congregation to build that church. It looks like it was well built too! I guess it served it’s purpose, and is still there to bear testament to that.

  11. Kyla says:

    I was wondering if you could tell me a phone number or
    Some way to contact the people who you guys rented the house from?

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