Churches Healing With Help

By: Chris Brennaman
By: Chris Brennaman

For two of the west Alabama churches that were either destroyed or badly damaged by arson in early February, help came in the form of cash on Monday; $2,700 to be exact.

Those churches, Galilee Baptist and Morning Star Missionary Baptist, were the two that were burned to the ground, allegedly by three college students from Birmingham.

The money came from Alabama gubernatorial candidate Jim Phipps. He says it is just the tip of the iceberg for what he would like to do.

"What I would like to be able to do is raise a half a million dollars to a million dollars in the next 30-60-90 days," said Phipps, an independent.

Pastor Bob Little of Galilee says that this donation shows him that even though his church was located in a sparsely populated area, his congregation has not been forgotten.

"We are thankful that he came to our area and showed his support. So often times rural areas, rural America is neglected and forgotten about and put on the back burner," said Little. "People just don't really pay us any attention."

In addition to the money, Morning Star came a step closer to getting back to normal with the delivery of a trailer that will temporarily serve as its church building. Officials say that many of the negative thoughts of the fire are behind them.

"The good feelings are coming now. It's going to be good and help the community and help the people do better," said Willie Wallace, a deacon at Morning Star.

Now that the site has been bulldozed, few signs of the fire remain. Those that do have signs, like a few pieces of yellow caution tape, serve as constant reminders of what happened.

But church members say that now that the trailers have been delivered, it means it's time to move forward.

Wallace said the time line for rebuilding is estimated at six months.


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