Service for Peace project to overhaul vandalized Shawnee church - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Service for Peace project to overhaul vandalized Shawnee church

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The interior of Liberty Bible Baptist Church The interior of Liberty Bible Baptist Church
Teresa Payne-Clark Teresa Payne-Clark
Pastor Darrell Ray Pastor Darrell Ray
Todd Dunn Todd Dunn
Part of the damaged interior of Liberty Bible Baptist Church. Part of the damaged interior of Liberty Bible Baptist Church.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - In honor of what would have been the 85th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior several local groups donated their time and services to a Shawnee church in dire need Wednesday. From the holes in the sanctuary ceiling to the debris littering the pews inside Liberty Bible Baptist Church, needed repairs are obvious. They're also rampant.

"There's damage everywhere," said Teresa Payne-Clark, LBBC administrative assistant, who agreed to take WAVE 3 News on a tour of what's left of Shawnee community church.

"It's like you have a mansion and your mansion is all full," began Payne-Clark. "You go away for a vacation and you come back and your mansion is just raggedy."

Payne-Clark said over the summer, while the church sat empty with its pastor out of town, crooks stole just about everything they could carry.

"We didn't have water or electricity here for months because they took the gas pipes," said Payne-Clark. "They took the water pipes."

"Took our sinks, took out our stainless steel counter tops, took fiber refrigerators, took computers, took TVs," said LBBC Pastor Darrell Ray, "I mean, really cleaned us out."

Pastor Ray said when you add the massive vandalism to extensive water damage from before he took over, it's easy to see why the LBBC crew are battling a huge mess.

"The 2007 flood hit it and they didn't do any other work down there," said Pastor Ray.

Yet, on the January 15 anniversary of what would have been Dr. King's 85th birthday, Pastor Ray had reason to celebrate.

"Our church has been selected as the marquee event for the Service for Peace Martin Luther King project here in Louisville," said Pastor Ray.

"Our team is at it again," said Local UAW 862 President Todd Dunn. "They're going to be down here for at least a week starting out."

Ford and Local UAW 862 members will team together to physically repair the church, using donated supplies along the way.

"The main thing is just trying to get it started," began Dunn, "and establish a facility where the children can come back here to in the Shawnee community."

Renovations will allow the church to again host a food pantry, as well as youth services staff said are desperately needed in the area.

"We have five adults and the rest of our congregation is children," said Payne-Clark. "They come and they want to do an Easter pageant. Where are we going to do that at?"

While the repair project is a massive undertaking, church members said it's a big step in the right direction. In addition to restoring hope, the renovation will help restore a neighborhood icon nestled within a community in need.

Service projects are expected to continue at Liberty Bible Baptist Church throughout the week on into April as part of a broader Season of Service campaign. In order to finish the repairs, however, money is still needed for additional building supplies.

Donations can be made to the Liberty Bible Baptist Church at all L&N Federal Credit Union through the Shawnee Community Development of Liberty fund.

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