The Kenai United Methodist Church in Kenai has a case of the blues — literally. The 63-year-old structure is getting a “Santorini blue” paint job that is mostly finished, said Kari Mohn, who works for the church. The church, which was chartered in April of 1954, was consecrated at its current location on Frontage Road and Bluff Street in Kenai in September of 1957.
Mohn said the previous color — a shade of brown — made walking into the church feel like walking into a “cave.” The choice to change the color came as the church worked to cut down beetle kill trees — about 34 of them. Mohn said felling the trees put the church on much more of a display considering its location along the Kenai Spur Highway.
“As you come into Kenai from the north and make that curve close to the chamber of commerce, the church is what you see — it’s just right there,” Mohn said.
The church launched a “paint committee” that drove around Kenai to gauge the colors of the town’s other large buildings and to see if they could match the shade of blue seen in places like Preferred Plumbing & Heating.
With help from an app by Sherwin-Williams Company, a paint and coating manufacturer, Mohn said the church was able to try on different colors. It came down to a vote between a “grape” purple color and “Santorini blue,” with the blue coming out on top. Mohn said purple was appealing because it’s a liturgical color, but that more people ended up choosing blue.
The church cross, which used to be white, will also be painted black so that it is more visible when mounted on the white entryway, Mohn said. Overall, she said she thinks the white entrance will give the area a lighter feel.
“It will be more coming into the light of God by coming in through that church door,” Mohn said. “We like that feeling of coming into the light.”
Painting is still underway at the parish, where workers could be seen painting the exterior on Monday. Between the food pantry, Alcoholics Anonymous and worship services offered at the church, Mohn said when completed she hopes the paint job will make the structure stand out more.
“We wanted to be the only blue church in town,” she said.