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60-Year-Old Greek Orthodox Church Could Be Sold To Pay Off $8 Million Debt

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Members of a historic church in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood are fighting to keep it off the auction block this month.

Members of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church are praying for a miracle to prevent the church from closing. The church is about $8 million in debt, and the building is set to go up for auction in a week.

The congregation is trying to save the 60-year-old building, and preserve some of the history inside. Holy Trinity was founded in 1897, and has been in its current location for 60 years.

A GoFundMe page is calling on members past and present – those who were baptized and married there, who prayed and studied there – to offer up prayers. They're also trying to raise $7.9 million in donations, but only about $3,400 has been pledged as of early Friday morning.

The church's debt stems from a decision ten years ago to move the church school to the North Shore, and take out a loan. If the debt isn't paid off by next Friday, the church will be sold at auction.

Members of the church fear developers plan to tear down the building if it is sold.

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