Monday, October 01, 2001

Switching from food to fellowship

By Lew Moores
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MILFORD — The new owners of what had been the Mill Street Manor, a landmark in the heart of this historic downtown, hope to have renovation far enough along to participate in the community's Christmas walk Nov. 23-25.

        The building, which has been around for the better part of two centuries, had been a restaurant since the 1930s. Before being named Mill Street Manor, it was known as the Milcroft Inn.

        It was purchased by a real estate holding company affiliated with the SonRise Community Church, a nondenominational church founded in October 1998.

        “There's a good bit of history right here,” said Dr. Dale Thorne, senior pastor of SonRise, as he stood outside the building. “It'll be the jewel of the downtown area.”

        Church officials say the building, which has 12,500 square feet, will be a gathering place for youth activities and clubs, special events, seminars, and conferences on marriage and parenting.

        There are also plans for opening a coffeehouse and offering live music.

        “We plan to use it as a ministry center in the community, to reach out to the community,” said Mr. Thorne. “We want to participate in community activities that will draw people to historic downtown Milford. Our church has a real emphasis on strengthening families.”

        Milford Councilwoman Charlene Hinners said the city is pleased with the new plan.

        “It should be a good addition for downtown Milford,” said Ms. Hinners. “This will be a wonderful use. They will keep it up and keep it looking beautiful. We're glad to see them there.”

        SonRise Bookstores LLP, the real estate holding company, paid $397,000 for the building. SonRise Community Church averages about 120 people at its Sunday worship services at Indian Hill Primary School.

        The congregation is growing, said Mr. Thorne. Most of the congregation is from Terrace Park, Indian Hill, Mariemont, Madeira, Milford, Loveland and Symmes Township.


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- Switching from food to fellowship
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