CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – A small business owner got an unexpected opportunity, and said it turned into a meaningful project. The red doors outside the Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal Church in Champaign are now a little brighter.
Sue Foster, owner of Foster Renovations, said it was a challenge. The doors have stood there since 1917, and the wood is old. But she’s proud of her work – and so is the congregation.
“People see that door. Whether they realize it or not, every day they drive by it and they see it – thousands of people,” Foster said.
Foster said when she heard the church needed to bring their century-old doors back to life, she was honored to help.
“That church deserves to have those doors looking good again,” she said.
She said it’s a personal project, both for her and the community.
“Actually, today, when I was out there working, someone stopped at the light and said ‘hey, looks great!’ and I was like, ‘thanks!’” she said.
Bright red doors are common in Episcopal churches for their biblical symbolism. But Reverend Beth Maynard said anyone can find meaning in them.
“When you look at our church, you see a place where you can enter – where you are welcome to walk through the doors, and where it’s obvious how to get through those doors because our doors are open to absolutely everybody,” Maynard said.
Maynard said she feels blessed to have the historic building, and to know how many others appreciate it.
“If I were to think about those doors, I would think about them as stability,” Foster said.
Even if you’re not religious, they’re hard to ignore.
“I think those red doors mean a lot to people whether they know it or not,” Foster said.
Foster said there’s still several other sets of doors that need refreshing, and Maynard said she’s grateful for the help.