A ramshackle Detroit church whose small but dedicated congregation provides services to homeless, hungry and addicted people, got a major shot of hope as crews began rebuilding its roof — thanks to about $70,000 in donations from around the world.
“I’m astounded,” the Rev. Henry Covington, pastor of Pilgrim Church and its I Am My Brother’s Keeper Ministries, said as members helped workers from Fisher Roofing of Dearborn Heights begin replacing a roof that has failed so badly in recent years that portions of the ceiling collapsed.
Pilgrim Congregational Church was founded in 1919 by a number of African American families who had moved to Detroit from Montgomery, Alabama to find work. From the beginning, mercy ministries have been at the heart and soul of the congregation.
“When you have faith, you don’t just sit around,” Covington said. “You begin working toward goals you want to achieve. I refuse to give up on Detroit, just as I refuse to give up on the church.”
The repairs cost about $70,000 and were paid for with donations ranging from $1 to $10,000. TV show host Dr. Phil McGraw donated at least $10,000 and had a crew filming the roof repair kick off Monday.
The roof repair is expected to take about a week, but church members know they have more work to do to get the facility into better shape. They said they’re committed to sticking it out to help those in need.
“I came here homeless 15 years ago — cracked out, alcoholic and a user of people,” said church elder Anthony (Brother Cass) Castelow, 50, who rebuilt his life and got married.
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