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In 2016, our Owner, Sam Unruh, embarked on a pretty wild task at hand: convert a 100-year-old church into a furniture workshop. There’s no “easier said than done” about it, the transformation would require so much manpower and innovation, many friends and onlookers wondered if it was the right next step for Sam. However, like any great husband-wife duo, Sam and his wife, Hayley, knew the undertaking was not only possible – it was a feasible way to honor the past, while enhancing the present. Four years later, Unruh Furniture provides beds, dressers, bookcases and home office furniture through expert craftsmanship and quality pricing.
And before we deliver any furniture to the customer’s home, we have the opportunity to meet with them in our showroom and discuss their specific dreams for an upgraded home office, living room, dining room or bedroom. Trust us, many of those customers ask about our space and its origins. Each time we tell the story of Westminster Congregational Church, we honor the lives of their congregation. And we like to think they’d enjoy seeing how the church building has progressed today.
The Early Days
The earliest record of the church’s deed dates back to 1903 – nearly 120 years ago! In 1905, the church title was recorded under the Westminster Congregational Church. About 90 years later, the shrinking congregation disbanded in 1995. And a beautiful Kansas City structure sat idle for years – without much interest from any prospective buyers.
But before we get to Unruh, consider the lives affected from 1905-1995. Men and women who served and attended faithfully alongside friends and family members. As you look at these pictures we hope you don’t just see an old black-and-white photo. We hope you see real men and women whose lives were just as real as you and our Unruh team. We think it’s important to honor their legacy. Obviously, we don’t run an actual church congregation. But when Sam realized there was an opportunity to purchase the building in 2016, community leaders agreed: it was time to start a new legacy.
You might ask, “How can you relate the legacy of a church to the legacy of handcrafted wood furniture? Our answer is two-fold: one answer is centered around community, and the other is on high-quality results. Our team of carpenters is more than a group of craftsmen and women. They, too, have lives and families of their own. Because of that reason, we provide each of our employees with a three-day weekend every week. No one comes back to the office until Tuesday, as we see Monday as an extended “sabbath” day for our crew to adventure, travel and rest. (We say adventure and travel because we have many explorers on our team).
But when we’re on the clock, we’re a family. At its core, the local church is about community. The congregation of Westminster depended on each other in good times and bad, and our people can do the same . . . animals included.
And that leads to the results. Countless stories were created and told, year-over-year, at Westminster. The ultimate goal was a higher quality life than if Westminster had not been a part of their weekly rhythm. With Unruh, we see a direct correlation with crafting quality wood tables and furniture so that friends and family might gather to trade stories and pass down legacy to generations beneath one another. If you need an example of how our furniture benefits any given customer, please read Kylie’s kind testimonial below. And if you want to experience our renovated church for yourself, please schedule a showroom appointment today. We would love to introduce you to our people, and most importantly: invite you into a century-old legacy. One that is way bigger than any of us.
“From our first steps into Unruh’s phenomenal showroom, we could tell that not only do they have dedication to their craft, but also to their clients. Starting with the selection of our pieces and ending with the careful delivery of our items, we felt we had great communication from Unruh and felt incredibly valued as customers. We truly look forward to watching our family live life around our timeless Unruh table, as we know it’s a piece that will last a lifetime!” -Kylie Clark