Congregation raising money to repair church featured in ‘Footloose’
AMERICAN FORK, UTAH — A church featured in the 1984 movie “Footloose” is raising money to replace its aging roof. The pastor is hoping people who feel a connection to the movie will help the church maintain the historic building.
American Fork Community Presbyterian Church will celebrate its 140th birthday on July 21. “It’s a very nice old building and it’d be a shame to not take good care of it,” said church member Dale Broughton.
The cedar shake roof is about 40 years old and has begun to leak. “We’ve been saving for the roof for about five years and we’ve saved about one quarter of what we’ll need,” said Pastor Michael Heil.
The congregation hopes to raise $65,000 for the roof and other repairs. An online fundraiser* has brought in more than $1,500 so far. While there is a dedicated congregation, Heil hopes people who may never have stepped foot inside will help.
“It’s touched a lot of people’s lives through the church services, through the church family, but also I guess, through a movie,” he said.
Scenes for “Footloose” were filmed in the church sanctuary. John Lithgow played a reverend there. Thirty-four years later, the movie is still popular. “They care. They have some strange, remote connection to our church through this movie and because of that, they’re more likely to show us kindness,” he said.
Heil said repairs to the building demonstrate the congregation’s commitment to remaining part of the community. “We are vibrant and we are very much alive and serving our community,” he said. “It’s been here 140 years. We want it to stay another 140.”