A Chemung County ministry is reaching out to its community by taking the first step in fixing up an abandoned apartment complex in Elmira. Our Katie Husband talked to members of the church who are on board with their pastor in cleaning up what used to be their home.
ELMIRA, N.Y. -- “In 2006, as soon as I saw it, I was breathless, I was grieved, I prayed and asked the Lord 'why?' And I think now is the time as to why I felt the way I felt,” said Pastor Bobby Smith, Shabach Tabernacle.
The building had five wings but closed in the early 2000s. Pastor Smith has gained permission from the New York City based landlord to close the windows and doors.
“It’s in ruins. But, it still has life, it still has the opportunity and the potential to come back alive,” said Smith.
Back to life like it was for their childhood.
“So many of us have grown up here. There are roots in this place that are absolutely amazing,” said Smith.
“I have some good memories, some bad but mostly good. There was a lot of people always around, we cooked out, hung round the front," said Terry Clayborn, Elmira resident.
The ministry hopes to purchase the property and bring a VA program and preventative medical scanning center to the east side.
“This property can come alive. Like I said, we are really praying and hoping that God has ordained it to be so,” said Smith.
“I’m with Shabach Tabernacle now and we got a lot visions for Jones Court and just to see people back around here again and just looking a lot better than it is now. I’m looking forward to that and being a part of that," said Clayborn.
Now Pastor Smith and the Shabac Tabernacle are reaching out and need your help.
“Just wish that the community would pull together and anyone else that would donate their time or money or material or whatever we need to get this on board and get this started and it would be a beautiful thing,” said George Wilson Jr., Elmira resident.
Shabach Tabernacle needs at least 300 sheets of plywood, tools and material to bring back to life what used to be called home.