church for sale

c.1913 Church For Sale in Schaller, IA $48K- Off Market


This is the former Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church. Services date back to 1883 with the first Mass celebrated by Father Timothy Meagher.  From 1885 until a few years later,  Mass was celebrated in a building in downtown Schaller. Sometime between 1888 and 1892 a frame church was built. Then in 1913, this beautiful brick church was constructed.

The final Mass  at St. Joseph was on the Solemnity of Christ the King back in November of 2020. Apparently, there were not enough parishioners nor priests to sustain the building so it merged with St. Mary’s. Below is part of a message by Father Lingle. Among other things, he explains that the stained glass windows were removed and stored for safe keeping.

After the final Mass there, an inventory of the sacred patrimony (all of the things used for sacred worship) was taken. St. Mary’s parish, as the receiving parish of St. Joseph, Schaller kept some of the items for use at both St. Mary and Sacred Heart. The rest of the contents of liturgical items were taken to the diocesan storage facility in Laurens where they will be used by other Catholic churches in the diocese. Since the stained glass windows are part of the liturgical patrimony of the parish, they are being removed, crated, and stored for safe keeping. Some of these windows could be incorporated into the St. Mary’s campus or used in other church buildings. We simply cannot leave them in an unoccupied building to fall into disrepair. In order to remove the windows in a safe fashion the pews had to be removed first. This was always part of the plan. It is important to understand that all of these things are and have been done in harmony with the policies of pastoral planning for the Diocese of Sioux City. We cannot simply leave a building to sit unused to fall apart in the long shot dream that someday we will have an abundance of priests and people to return to active worship in Schaller. Before the pandemic began we averaged 35 people per week at Sunday Mass and 5 at the daily Mass during the week. That was not sustainable then and certainly not sustainable now with only one priest assigned to St. Mary’s parish.


Looking for an opportunity to exercise your creative talents? Bring your vision and consider this opportunity in Schaller. It`s small town living just off of Highway 20, but the potential is huge to convert this former church into something special. Over 6000 square feet of space on a half acre lot could be yours. From the Mission style brickwork and exposed interior beams, the architectural features are stunning. Property will come with deed restrictions which will prevent it from future sordid or obscene use…


  • Maya Anderson

    Live downstairs and rent upstairs as a dance studio, square dance and folk dance clubs, AA meetings, local beauty pageants, plays, karate lessons, wedding parties, etc. A great way to stimulate interest in the arts. A surprising of public schools do not have an auditorium.

  • Nancy

    I’ve always dreamed of converting a church into a home. Those beams are so gorgeous! They’d make a great living area. Add a fireplace in the arch. Put the bedroom in the loft. The downstairs is big enough to rent out for events or convert to some kind of bookstore or shop. With some creativity, it could probably become a couple of apartments too. Too bad we can’t move it to another state. 🙂

  • MikeG

    I wished it was in another state in a particular region, but if it was in that area, it would be several times more than the asking price.

  • Tom

    Does anyone know the back story of this property? What happened to the congregation? What happened to the stained glass windows? Did this parish consolidate with another one?
    The property appears to be in excellent condition. Depending upon the demographics of the area this could be an amazing Bed & Breakfast or floral & gift store.

  • Ruth Enero

    I am seriously considering this property as a residence. Almost non-existent crime in this small city of Schaller! However, the most difficult & costly part of owning this structure would be HEATING it in winter. “Hot air rises”…up into the main floor high ceiling. High/low temps for today Dec 29th 2021: 19F/14 F .

  • [email protected]

    Yes. It cost $4,000 for our shorter South Jersey heating season. My husband just now showed me a gorgeous house for sale in Indiana at a great price, but it was so large I know we could not afford to heat it.

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