Nearly 40 years ago this week, one of the oldest churches in Dallas closed its doors for good.

Greenville Avenue Christian Church served the East Dallas community for nearly 85 years before members attended a final service Aug. 29, 1982.

The church opened in 1898 and was located on the corner of Greenville and Llano avenues in the Vickery Place neighborhood for 53 years.

Dallas jeweler Arthur Everts and his wife started the church with 36 people, according to a story from the Dallas Morning News archives.

When they moved to the Greenville Avenue location in 1925, the congregation began to grow. There were 1,200 members by 1945, but at the time of closing, the church averaged about 70 people.

The neighborhood changed drastically through the years as families moved to the suburbs, and the dwindling congregation decided to sell the church and seek membership elsewhere.

A developer offered to buy the church for $500,000 and preserve the exterior while converting the interior into office space, the newspaper reported.

After ceasing visible ministry, the congregation created a permanent fund at the Christian Church Foundation, which has distributed $1.4 million for church plants, student scholarships and elderly care at Juliette Fowler.

“Members knew they could continue holding services indefinitely, using up their resources until they were gone,” said Janice Tatlock, wife of the church’s last minister, in a statement. “But prayerful consideration led them to the decision not to spend all on a failing cause, but to find ways for the church’s mission to live on.”