Nacogdoches couple breathes new life into old church building - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Nacogdoches couple breathes new life into old church building

Jerry Wood and his wife, Pat, are living in what used to be the Live Oak Baptist Church on East Hospital in Nacogdoches. They call it lots of fun. (Source: KTRE Staff) Jerry Wood and his wife, Pat, are living in what used to be the Live Oak Baptist Church on East Hospital in Nacogdoches. They call it lots of fun. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Jerry Wood and his wife, Pat, are living in what used to be the Live Oak Baptist Church on East Hospital in Nacogdoches. They call it lots of fun. (Source:KTRE Staff) Jerry Wood and his wife, Pat, are living in what used to be the Live Oak Baptist Church on East Hospital in Nacogdoches. They call it lots of fun. (Source:KTRE Staff)
The sanctuary is a perfect spot for the Woods to display their extensive art collections of local artists. Each piece will spark conversation at any gathering.. (Source: KTRE Staff) The sanctuary is a perfect spot for the Woods to display their extensive art collections of local artists. Each piece will spark conversation at any gathering.. (Source: KTRE Staff)
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

A search on the Internet for “churches transformed into homes” would reveal that it’s been tried successfully across the country.

One such success story can be found in Nacogdoches.

Jerry Wood is no stranger to re-purposing buildings, so when asked why he and his wife Pat live in a former church he answers with the question, “Why not?”

"And this one came along, and it was just an opportunity that we took advantage of,” Wood said. “And we like it. It's fun."

The Live Oak Baptist Church is in a new location, but that doesn't stop the Woods from receiving unexpected guests who tend to come around on Sundays at the old location.

"A couple of people stopped by on Easter Sunday,” Wood said. “A young man showed up. He had his Bible under his arm. He was all dressed up."

The church floor plan has changed little, but its use has considerably.

The lobby is a living room. The sanctuary is a game and party room. 

There's plenty of space for entertaining. A surprise find of hardwood floors hidden under red church carpet is perfect for dancing. Wood has the perfect use for the pulpit.

"This is going to be the stage. We're going to have a house concert here in a month or so,” Wood said. “This will be fun. We'll just set up them up here."

Santa has a front row seat from the baptistry.

"He seems pretty happy, doesn't he?” Wood asked.

And at break time, guests can head to the women's bathroom, six stalls in all.

"My greatest ambition is to have them all full some weekend,” Wood said.

Guests may not hear Gospel music, but Louis Armstrong will do. 

“It’s not exactly Gospel” Wood said as Louis Armstrong’s “Hello Dolly” could be heard.

The long walls are decorated in the Wood's extensive quirky art collection that's certain to spark conversation. It's the only place in town you'll find a “Dead Elvis” room.

"Here we are,” Wood said.

The home also features a guest room called the “Bad Girls” room, where bad dreams aren't ruled out.  
"There's aren't any guarantees in this world,” Wood said. “You have to take your chances."

Taking one’s chances is something Wood knows a thing or two about. It's not divine intervention. It's just a person willing to think outside the box. 

Wood's renovation isn't the only thing going on at East Hospital.  A counseling office is nearing completion. And down another block is the Hotel Fredonia restoration.  

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