Church group seeking help to restore their place of worship


By Karen Fallon

Accompanied by several members of the congregation Deacon and trustee Timothy McAllister from the Amherstburg First Baptist Church sought council’s help to address the drainage problem at the church.

According to McAllister drainage issues at the site have resulted from neighbors who have raised their property, and as a result drainage damage to the church will now cost the church group $146,000 to rectify.

“Shortly after the flood we noticed the floor had started to drop,” said  McAllister, who noted that town building inspector Stephen Brown had visited the site to determine the extent of the damage.

Because the building, at that time, was deemed unsafe the congregation has been holding their services at the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission, which included the church’s 175th anniversary service.

 McAllister says although funds are limited they have started renovations in the Pastor’s office and washrooms. To date only five per cent of the cost of renovations has been raised by the group.

Although the church elders applied for Trillium Funding it wasn’t granted because the building isn’t nationally designated heritage.

McAllister informed council that the church group is seeking: a waver on all permit fees; assistance with the cost of a new drainage system and grading; a letter of support to send to Ottawa regarding historical designation; consideration for a grant towards the restoration of the building and continued support in respect of fund-raising initiatives.

In answer to councillor Bart DiPasquale inquiry regarding prior flooding around the church before the near-by residents raised their property, McAllister noted that he has been a member of the church for 30 years and during that time there have been no such issues with drainage.

In order to discover if the church is currently designated heritage by the town Councilor John Sutton made a motion to refer the issue to administration so that they could compile a report for discussion at the next council meting scheduled for June 11.

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