GREENHURST - A congregation without a home can say it finally has a place to worship.
More than a year ago, members of Christ Church LCMC found themselves gathering at places such as Fountain Bowl in Fluvanna - anywhere that had some extra space it could lend. Now, following a generous, anonymous donation of a building in Greenhurst, and more than a year's worth of work from members of the church and volunteers across the county, the new Christ Church LCMC is beginning to take shape.
"Initially, the owner of the building wanted to donate it to the town," said Dave Jett, church member. "The town didn't want it because it worried about kids from the park crossing (Route 430) to come here. One of the members of the church was working for the town at the time and got in contact with the owner. At that time, he donated the building to us."
Member Dave Jett and Pastor Lee Magneson stand next to the altar in the fellowship room. Pictured below is a view of the fellowship room, completely renovated.
P-J photos by Remington Whitcomb
The building, however, which used to be a restaurant, laid vacant for nine years before the donation, and needed quite a bit of work, according to Pastor Lee Magneson.
"When we first came in here, this whole place was set up like a restaurant," Jett said. "The tables were in place, the tablecloths were on, and all the salt and pepper shakers will still on the tables. When the (restaurant) closed, they just got up and left. It needed a lot of work."
However, much of that work has already taken place, thanks to several monetary donations and even more donations of time and labor.
"That's one neat thing - we received so much help from other churches," said Jett. "We had 29 people in here from five other congregations help pull up carpet."
According to Magneson, through donations received combined with what the church has been able to save, all of the completed renovations were done without going into debt. Although renovations are only half completed currently, he anticipates that the church has the necessary funding to complete 60-75 percent of the remaining renovations without debt, once again thanks to a few generous donations.
"We drew on (savings and donations), but then we ran out of money," said Magneson. "When that happened, we didn't even have a fundraiser. The word just got out, and all of a sudden, $14,100 came in during the first week of August, so now we're funded again."
Although portions of the building still need moderate to extensive renovation, the fellowship room of the church and several bathrooms are nearly or entirely renovated, and are currently being utilized.
Other areas of the building, such as the kitchen and what used to serve as the bar for the restaurant, still need what could be another year of renovations. However, once those areas are completed, Magneson is looking forward utilizing them for church events.
"It was truly just a gift from God that we came to acquire this building," said Jett.
The Christ Church LCMC, which is located on the corner of Dutch Hollow Road and Route 430, meets three times on Sundays: at 8:30 a.m. for praise service, at 9:30 a.m. for fellowship and at 10 a.m. for traditional service.
The church will holds its old-fashioned church picnic on Sept. 22 from noon-3 p.m. The picnic will be called the Open House Block Party, and will feature traditional picnic foods. The event will take place on the church grounds.