The former Methodist church building in Masury is being reborn as a workshop for adults with developmental disabilities.
Scott Thompson said he worked to buy the building, the former clergy residence and a nearby parking lot as soon as he learned that they were for sale.
“I’ve been at this church since I was a little kid,” said the Brookfield native, who now lives in Hubbard. “When it went up for sale, I wanted to get it.”
Thompson bought the property that had been Six-Fourteen Church and Masury Methodist Church through his company, SAT Holdings LLC. The former church will house the workshop of another affiliated company, Bala Management LLC.
The companies operate homes for their clients in Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties, and workshops in Canton, Vienna and Columbiana. Activities at the Columbiana location, which is too small to meet the needs of the company, will move to Masury.
The sale went through in January for $225,000, and Thompson is investing another $250,000 to $500,000 renovating the properties. The former house is becoming office space. The former church will have a silkscreen operation, classrooms for life skills and basic education training and offices in the education wing, and the chapel will become a gym.
The former church is getting new flooring, painting and lighting, and the roof and eaves will be repaired. While the building is in good shape, “If it would have sat much longer, it wouldn’t have been,” Thompson said.
There is no timeline for opening, because the purchase was unexpected, he said. He had brought property in Vienna and was looking to build, until he learned the Masury property was available.
Thompson came to this line of work after selling insurance in the family business, The Governor Insurance Agency in Vienna. “I just had enough with that,” he said. “Got into this and it grew.”
He started his own company in 2019.
Initially, Thompson expects to serve 35 people in the church building, but will have the capacity to serve 75 to 100. That should allow him to expand the workshop to people who do not live on his properties, he said.
“Now, we got the room to do what we want to do,” he said.
Although working with people who have developmental disabilities can be heartbreaking at times, the flip side is finding ways to communicate with them, and watching them develop skills that bring them closer to a sense of independence, Thompson said
“I love helping individuals,” he said. “Nothing better when they can accomplish something that they’ve never been able to. Giving them a normal life, somewhat normal.”