The members of the St. George Church of God have been worshipping in a sanctuary that is physically crumbling beneath their feet and above their heads.
Efforts to raise funds and build a new church are under way. To date, church members and local residents have helped collect $19,000.
"All residents are doing what they can to help," Carolyn Shreve, the Church of God pastor, said.
The Inter-Mountain Photo by Casey Houser
The shell of the new St. George Church of God stands in the back lot of the parish’s property. A concrete floor will be poured this week.
A pig roast, silent auction, hot dog sale, chicken burn and the sale of hard-tack candy are among the fundraising programs initiated by the community.
The chicken burn, a dinner that included grill-cooked chicken, coleslaw, a roll and a drink, sold out in only 45 minutes. A total of 80 dinners were available for the event.
"There were people lined up down the street," Shreve exclaimed.
She applauded the efforts of Eddie Evans, a Parsons resident, who cooked the chicken.
Hard-tack candy will be sold in 2-pound bags through November. They will be available for $8 a bag and offered in10 different flavors.
A $60,000 loan approved by the Grant County Bank is enough to purchase the materials and complete the assembly of building. The spoils of the fundraising feats will be used to reduce that debt and cover any unforseen costs.
Construction of a new place of worship was deemed necessary after a contractor insisted that an initial repair would only lead to problems in the future. Support beams are beginning to give way and the foundation is collapsing.
Pews are sloping toward the center of the sanctuary and there is a noticeable dip in the center of the floor.
The shell of the new building is now standing in the lot behind the current church.
A concrete floor is scheduled to be poured within the limits of the shell. It will serve as the foundation on which the various interior rooms will be built.
A sanctuary will comprise approximately 60 percent of the available interior space. An office, bathrooms and a storage room will be placed in the remainder.
Two white doors, flanked by nine front-facing windows, will serve as the main entrance. A front porch will span the width of the chapel.
Suzie Jones, the church's fundraising coordinator, can be reached at 304-478-2885.
Individual donations are being accepted at Mountain Valley Bank, P.O. Box 383, Parsons, WV 26287.
The Church of God is located at 474 Location Rd., Parsons, WV 26287.
Contact Casey Houser by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.