Historic ‘free home’ moves from Guntersville to Huntsville

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. -- It's been a few years since the Guntersville First Baptist Church got the word out that anyone could have a historic home it owned next to the church for free if they'd haul it off, and Thursday morning, a company did just that.

Old homes have chapters. A 1930s era home in Guntersville has a few.

Now it has a new one.

A few years ago, the Guntersville First Baptist Church bought the house. It sits right next to the church overlooking Gunter Avenue, surrounded by trees. Families rented it for a while, but the house needed some costly repairs. "We knew that we didn't want to tear the house down because it's such a historic Guntersville house, and yet at the same time we knew we're not in the rental business," said Pastor Joel Samuels.

So, in 2015, the church made an offer: anyone could have the house for free if they would haul it off the property.

Finally, it happened.

Thursday morning, with the bottom half of the house loaded onto a truck and Guntersville Police officers on hand to escort and manage traffic,  Hollis Kennedy House Movers executed months of planning.

Officers blocked traffic on Gunter Avenue as the truck slowly but surely crept across the highway to Blount Avenue,  on its way to Huntsville. The unusual  - and large - caravan stopped before River Bridge to let traffic pass, then got going again, heading to the house's new location on Monte Sano.

"This was a long process, but we're glad to see it's almost to completion," Samuels said, "It's sad to see something like that move off of this property." But, he added it's going to a new owner, who will give it a new life.

"It's been a long road and a lot of work to get it to this point," said Terry Langely, as he stood in front of the newly delivered bottom part of his home on his lot in Huntsville. He took the church up on its offer.

"The church and the city of Guntersville have been just as nice as they can be in facilitating making it happen," Langley added, “I would not have done it if the Kennedys weren’t available to do it. Then the third thing I want to mention is the fact my good friend Jan has helped me all along the way. She’s worked as hard or harder than I have.”

Langley said it'll take about five or six months before everything is complete, and he plans to have an open house when the home is ready. The company will move the other pieces of the home later this month.

It's been a long road to bring the home from Guntersville to Huntsville, but the old house will have a new chapter.