Clergy unite to help church after fire

Clergy unite to help church after fire
May 24
02:00 2018

On Sunday, April 30 New Gospel Tabernacle Holiness Church suffered a devastating fire that left the church in ruins. The Minister’s Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity (MCWSV) held a press conference on May 17 to alert the community of the three-step plan to assist the church with fundraising effort to build a new church.

The press conference was held at the site of the burned down church on Laura Wall Boulevard. New Gospel senior pastor Rev. Wallice Hairston came to the minister’s conference meeting to ask for a partnership with the fundraising efforts and conference president Rev. Dr. Lamonte Williams went to work hashing out the details.

The three-step plan includes having all clergy involved to have a special offering from their congregations for three Sunday services, the community at large to donate to the cause on the minister’s conference website and a special fundraising service to be held at Greater Church on Sunday, June 3, at 4 p.m.

“The minister’s conference is about being a voice for the voiceless and a helping hand for the handless,” said Williams. “We realize that the challenge set before this pastor [Hairston] is a very large and arduous task but what we also know is when people unite their forces, a little becomes much when you put it in the Master’s hands.”

“That’s what this effort is all about, every person bringing whatever resources they may have,” he continued. “This pastor needs assistance and resources because this could have happened to any one of us as pastors.”

Williams stated he was more than impressed with the quick response from so many local pastors and faith leaders that joined the fundraising efforts. He says since being the president of the Ministers’ Conference, he has seen they have always jumped at the chance to stand behind those in need.

According to Hairston, the church did not have an insurance policy in place to cover the damage. He stated they have estimated the church will need $275,000 to rebuild.

Bishop Sheldon McCarter, senior pastor of Greater Church, said when Williams reached out to him about holding the service at his church, he immediately said, “The church is wide open.”
“If we can’t help each other, then we are missing the whole mark of serving the kingdom,”

McCarter said. “The Bible says as much you did to the least of them, you have done it unto me, so that’s why I was eagerly excited and happy to host because that’s what community should be about.

“Pastor’s in particular are coming together because all of us know we are one fire away. It is a blessing to see pastors and the community come together so quickly from all faiths because all of us know it could happen to us,” McCarter said.

Hairston says, “It speaks volumes about the heart of the people you’re surrounded by” to have so many individuals willing to help with rebuilding efforts.
“Many times a person will feel like ‘why me Lord’ and then you look around and it’s not just you it’s everybody with you,” Hairston said. “It was painful to look at the devastation not just for me but for all the people that grew up in the church because of the rich history that has now been destroyed.”

“I am encouraged because you are seeing people pull things out of the rubble that give them memories of yesterday that will speak to their today as well as tomorrow.”

Hairston says he will feel overjoyed if they are able to reach their goal of $275,000. He has also asked if the city of Winston-Salem would waive the landfill fees to assist with their fundraising effort. While the church is in ruins, the congregation of New Gospel is currently worshipping at New Story Church on Waughtown Street. Hairston says New Story will accommodate them as long as they are needed.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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