Free church pews in St. Paul make for unusual curbside find

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On Monday in St. Paul, the corner of Charles Avenue and Hamline Avenue North became the intersection of opportunity and divine intervention.

"It’s not every day you see some free pews sitting by the side of the road," said Karl Beck, a St. Paul resident.

"We just live a couple of blocks away and we were driving by and we thought we'd stop by and check it out," said Kate Jenny, a St. Paul resident. 

Over the weekend, parishioners at Trinity Christian Church of St. Paul hauled out all the church’s pews and placed them in the front yard. Church leaders say the oak benches had been in the building for at least 30 years and were falling apart, so they decided to replace them and get new carpet, but they believe just throwing the pews away would be a sin.

"You can see the pews are really beat up and they are screwed together to them hold together," said Chong Moua, the secretary of Trinity Christian Church. "I thought maybe somebody in the neighborhood might need it for something, so give it away for free before we throw it in the dumpster.

According to a cornerstone, the church was built in the mid-1800s, but Trinity leaders aren't sure if the pews were from the original building. The unusual offering drew the curious and those who didn't want to pass up the chance at a holy bargain.

"It’s sort of an unusual find,” said Scheff Otis, who decided to take a pew home. “I haven't done much church pew hunting, but I imagine this is pretty unusual."

Otis says he plans to use one as a seat in the mudroom of his remodeled house. That way he says some good can come from the church pews being benched.

"It’s a great find,” said Otis. “It’s a blessing for the day."