At Many Churches, Pandemic Hits Collection Plates, Budgets

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Biltmore United Methodist Church of Asheville, North Carolina, is for sale.

Already financially strapped because of shrinking membership and a struggling preschool, attendance at weekly services have plummeted during the pandemic, with many staying home or switching to other churches.

Gone, too, is the revenue from renting out its space.

So members voted last May to put the property, a two-building campus perched on a verdant knoll just off Interstate 40, on the market.

Biltmore is just one of an untold number of congregations across the country that are struggling to stay afloat financially and minister to their flocks, though many others have better managed to weather the pandemic.