- Associated Press - Friday, May 20, 2016

MYTON, Utah (AP) - The church bell rang four times. Once for each year of little Wesley Cowan’s life.

Reed Cowan, Wesley’s father and a former Utah television reporter, was joined by a group gathered in April at the century-old Presbyterian Community Church in Myton. Every year, Cowan said, he does something big to commemorate the passing of his son, who died after a playground accident, the Salt Lake Tribune reported (https://bit.ly/1Xx9Mb6).

He built a school in Kenya. This year, he rang the bell at the church he had purchased in December, originally intending to use it as a vacation home.

He grew up in the area and spent a lot of time at his grandparents’ house near the Duchesne River, just a few blocks from the church.

“When I heard the beautiful Myton Presbyterian church had a for sale sign in it, literally on the 100 year anniversary since it was opened, I thought, ‘We can’t lose that building.’”

As renovation work started, Cowan says, it attracted curious neighbors.

“Little by little the old timers would knock on the door and say, ‘Can I show you my wedding pictures?’ or ‘My brother was killed in the war and his casket was brought right here,’” Cowan said.

This kind of attention from the Myton community led Cowan to change his plans - and the chapel, now known as the 1915 Wedding Chapel and Residence, is available for weddings and other community events.

“I thought, I can’t be selfish with this building. I can’t have this just be my second home,” said Cowan, co-director of the documentary “8: A Mormon Proposition” and now a news anchor in Las Vegas.

Ken Palmer is the pastor who delivered the final sermon at the church in June 2015. He said the church closing was “painfully confusing, oddly strange and rather depressing.”

“God has his thing that he needs to do and he wasn’t able to do it here,” Palmer said.

But he’s happy to know that the building will continue to be used.

“It’s a great little historical marker for this area,” he said.

___

Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, https://www.sltrib.com

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