Oklahoma Family Turns Abandoned And Run Down 1839 Church Into Dream Home

Jun 21, 2021 by apost team

A woman from Okarche, Oklahoma, walked into a musty old church 20 years ago and was struck with its beauty and potential. That woman is Suzan Alig, and she bought it for only $10,000. Then in April 2021, Suzan and her family saw her dream come to life. Now, the fully-renovated church is a gorgeous home filled with warm fireplaces and stunning architecture. 

The building was built in 1893 and was owned by the Congregational church for many years. Then after some time, it was bought by the Methodist church from across the street and they utilized the building for a while. After it was abandoned, the city had decided to tear it down, but Suzan had a vision of what the church could be and she couldn’t let it go. 

Suzan’s son, John Alig, who was a college freshman at the time she purchased the building, remembers attending Cub Scout meetings in the basement of the church. John recalls that even back then it had a musty smell, so by the time it came into his mother’s ownership, the place must have been in pretty bad shape.  

Altogether it took the family about three years to renovate, with John who was hired as the architect and contractor. He knew what his mother wanted and helped her bring that idea to fruition. John was able to take such a large and dilapidated building and make it feel homey and warm. It was an impressive job and they should all be very proud! Read on to learn more about the story behind this incredible renovation. 

Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video :-) 

This incredible story has captured the attention of the public and major news stations. Suzan had the opportunity to show off her fabulous home to NBC's KFOR news team. She still remembers the feeling she had when she entered it 20 years ago. “I came up the stairs,” she recalled. “It was evening time and the sun was beginning to set. It was just beautiful.”

John remembers the building differently. “I remember it being musty,” he laughed. “I wondered why my mom would want to live here,” John shared in the interview. Somehow, Suzan was able to look beyond the mustiness and saw the hidden beauty underneath all of the years of wear and tear. She knew it would be a big project, but she was willing to wait for her dream home.

There was definitely a lot of waiting while Suzan and her family figured out exactly what to do with the home. Suzan said, “I’d had it for about 20 years. And I did stick with it.” Her son was a freshman in college at the time it was bought, but he was a full-fledged architect by the time the project was completed.

Even though it was a daunting task, Suzan knew the perfect man for the job. “I hired my son, the architect,” she told the KFOR news team proudly. Once the work began the project was completed in three years. Suzan could not be happier with how the home turned out. During the tour for the camera crew she had a smile on her face the entire time as she showed off the former church.


The renovation really was best placed in John’s capable hands. “I knew the structure,” he said. “I knew what we wanted to do. And I obviously knew the client.” Nobody else could have made the home as personal and filled with love as a son for his mother. Suzan is very lucky her son was interested in architecture.

There are seven staircases that connect all of the many bedrooms, lofts and basements. John built a loft for the master bedroom above the garage, and he made it feel as luxurious as possible. “A drop-in tub and a rain head shower over here,” he told KFOR. The tub and shower are huge and look like something you would find at a five-star hotel. 

Suzan couldn’t be more pleased with that feature. Suzan said with a smile, “I love that bathroom. Is that too silly to say?” The interviewer responded, “Not at all!” The master bedroom also has huge windows that must bring in beautiful light as the sun sets. 

The house also has some quirky elements. In the wine cellar that John built, they have placed a life-size statue of a priest.“You need that in this family to guard the vineyard,” Suzan jokes. The wine cellar is a great addition and adds to the gothic feel of the old building with its brick walls and hole in the ceiling to let in light from above.   

Suzan knew from the first moment she stepped into that church 20 years ago, this place was special. She shared with KFOR, “I just said, ‘That’s it. This is going to be my home.'”

What do you think of this renovation? Would you ever live in a home like this one? Let us know your opinion and be sure to send this on to your loved ones.

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