by Lisa Tome
After a very long 11 months, Pastor Larry Johnson is back where he belongs.
New Life Faith Center reopened on Sunday.
"It's like a whole new church," said Pastor Johnson. "I love it. We've had church members and non members come and help us move back in." The first service was held Sunday morning after what has been months of the church borrowing space
Last March, the church was closed due to being structurally unsafe. An engineering report outlined that the problem likely came due to a "heavy snow load" last winter. The roof trusses where a church addition was built on began snapping.
The church held fundraisers, a pizza sale and a benefit concert which raised $3,600. They also sold the parsonage, which was home to associate pastor Shawn Johnson and his family, to fund the repairs. Shawn Johnson and his family now rent from the home's owners. In all, the work cost $290,000. That included some upgrades in addition to the necessary repairs. The church now has efficient LED lighting
Church attendance dropped because New Life Faith Center began meeting in borrowed space. Initially, they met at property owned by Pleasant View baptist Church. That building was sold, so Pastor Johnson began leading afternoon services at North East Church of God.
But now he's glad to be back in their own building where they can have Sunday services day and evening, special events, and fundraisers. Wednesday evening services will resume in the future. "We'll have VBS this year," said Pastor Johnson.
He is grateful to the churches who lent their space and provided support. North East Church of God donated $2,500, Grace Bible Chapel donated $1,000, an anonymous woman gave $500, and others chipped in. "
This humbles you. It shows you that God can touch people," said Pastor Johnson.
He is thrilled with the roof truss replacement performed by the S.E. Smoker contractors.
"The Amish are some workers. This is like a brand new building and I am very thankful," he said.
"It makes me feel like I'm home now," Johnson added.