By CLINT FOSTER
After four years without a church home, one local congregation is looking to rebuild. But first they’ll have to tear down their old building.
With Mt. Olive AME Church’s old building on SE 6th Street in Mineral Wells dilapidated and uninhabitable, the congregation has spent the past three years worshipping from 8 to 9:30 a.m. every Sunday at Hughes Chapel CME Church on 1st ave.
But Mt. Olive’s senior pastor, Reverend Mae Smith, said four years without a true church building has hurt its attendance, with only 12 “faithful” members remaining from the original church. Smith said the church has applied for a grant to build a new home, but first they have to demolish the derelict property, which costs money.
With such a small congregation, Mt. Olive is now asking for outside donations to raise the money for their demolition project scheduled for March of this year. Smith said they could have requested the demolition money as part of the potential grant, but that would significantly slow down the process, so they elected not to go that route.
In urging others to give, Smith said every penny they receive will help toward the cause.
“We’ll accept any amount of donation,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be a large amount. Anything people can do to help this worthy cause would be greatly appreciated.”
Smith said they will not draw up any designs or plans for the new building until they know they have received the grant. She added she is trusting God throughout this process and is hopeful that the money for demolition will be raised by their deadline.
“A lot of people think we’re crazy, because we have such a small membership, but I teach my congregation all things are possible through Christ, who gives us strength,” she said quoting Philippians 4:13. “We’re trying to walk by faith, not by sight.
“I believe God wants the AME church to stay in Mineral Wells.
“I believe in miracles. I’m looking for a miracle.”
Anyone wishing to donate to Mt. Olive AME Church and their quest for a new church home should send all checks payable to the church at PO Box 1344 in Mineral Wells, 76068.
For more information about donating or Mt. Olive AME Church, call Reverend Smith at (817) 966-8295.