Family Buys Church, Moves in After Fire

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HAZLE TOWNSHIP -- A family from Luzerne County that lost its home in a fire nearly one year ago has now moved into a new home that used to be a house of worship.

The Klotz family has big plans for the former Roman Catholic church.

Joel Klotz looks out over his new home, the former Saint Mary's Roman Catholic church in Lattimer, he'll have little to no use for these pews as he and his wife plan to overhaul the house of worship and make it a home of their own.

"We just looked at each other and said this was it," says Klotz.

Klotz gave Newswatch 16 a tour of the former church - complete with confessionals - and explained how after losing their home in Walnutport to fire last January, the couple was looking for the right home - and found the church on the market.

Something divine must have been at work when the two realized they could buy the rectory, which was move-in ready and get so much more for a very affordable price.

"So we came up and looked at it and I said to Father Anthony: you sure it's not 1. 1 million and change? He said no, only 115 thousand. So we said sold!," says Klotz.

There's a massive pavilion out back most likely the place for family get-togethers in the coming years.

And a rec hall complete with a basketball court that Klotz has big plans for turning a place for fellowship into one for entertaining friends and guests.

"The rec hall is going to be the man cave- a man's man cave, half basketball court - the rest a pub," says Klotz.

Saint Mary's church dates back to the 1920's and has been empty since 2009. But for Klotz it's a job that can be done with a little faith in his abilities to convert the church into his home.

"I just think about it and I build it, i'm a road mechanic, I do what I need to do," says Klotz.

1 Comment

  • marbs

    Good luck to this family what a great find. Let’s just hope that he does not run into problems with the local building/zoning czars. Also he will also get a fair appraisal for taxes after all it was an exempt property. If he paid 115K that should be the fair market value for tax purposes.

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