October 8, 2006
Members of the Charlottesville Church of Christ have been working for 5 months to raise money to rebuild the part of their church lost in a fire.
"Very very hard to see, I can't even describe the feeling. Just seeing your life's work go up in smoke." Chuckey Hayes remembers what it was like five months ago watching his church go up in flames. Sunday, members of the congregation were still working hard to get back into
their church home.
"Right now, where we are it's kind of tight, but we have somewhere. You know, we're still looking to grow the church and everything but have a facility that's comfortable for everyone," Hayes continued.
Sunday, Church of Christ members brought food and drinks to the public at Charlottesville Fire Department's Open House, a first for the event. "We've had open houses in the past but this is the first time we've ever had any civic group or anything like that come in for a fundraiser," W.A. Hogsten from the fire department said.
With $70,000 already raised, members are nearing their goal of getting back in the sanctuary by December. They say it's thanks to community groups and organizations stepping up.
"Charlottesville Fire Department has been wonderful and everybody in the community is coming together and helping us out," Lance Blakely, member of the congregation said.
Bit by bit the group is adding to their disaster relief fund and those first on the scene when the church went down, say they also plan to be there when it goes back up.
"We put the fire out, so we're going to help them rebuild," Hogsten continued.
It really is "bit by bit." They said that their goal for Sunday was only $300, and they hope to be completely moved in to the refurnished church by early March.