Giving thanks

by Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Nov 26, 2013 - 02:34 PM

Photo: Antioch Christian Fellowship/House of Hope Ministries started an effort earlier this fall to raise money to rebuild their tornado-ravaged church building by collecting shoes from the community. Fundraiser committee members standing next to some of the 135 bags that were collected include, from left, Darlene Patterson, Arlene Fenner, Pastor Medina Marble and committee co-chair Judith Jenkins. Photo by Quinton Sheppard

Antioch Christian Fellowship/House of Hope Ministries started an effort earlier this fall to raise money to rebuild their tornado-ravaged church building by collecting shoes from the community. Fundraiser committee members standing next to some of the 135 bags that were collected include, from left, Darlene Patterson, Arlene Fenner, Pastor Medina Marble and committee co-chair Judith Jenkins. Photo by Quinton Sheppard

When members of Antioch Christian Fellowship/House of Hope Ministries started an effort to raise money to rebuild their tornado-ravaged church building, little did they know the tremendous support they would receive from neighbors in the Gloucester community and beyond.

Antioch Church located near Coke was severely damaged by the April 2011 tornado that cut across Gloucester, bringing destruction to Page Middle School and countless other properties in its path.

For more than two years, church members gathered for Sunday services at other locations until enough money could be raised by the small congregation to repair their church building, enough for meetings to be held there once again.

With a tremendous amount of work still left to be done and insurance proceeds quickly dwindling, a group of church members decided to start a shoe drive, not only to help raise money to finish the necessary repairs to the church building, but to also help those in other countries who are too poor to purchase footwear.

Earlier this fall, the church partnered with Funds2Orgs to collect bags of shoes to be distributed to men, women and children all over the world.