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Church raising money to purchase old Franklin Elementary School building

Published: Sep. 26, 2021 at 7:41 PM EDT
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FRANKLIN, WV. (WHSV) - Redeeming Grace Outreach Worship Center is asking for donations as they look to raise $350,000 to purchase the old Franklin Elementary School building as the new home of their ministry.

The church’s current home is in a small building off of Route 33 in Brandywine and is no longer able to hold all of its growing ministries.

“This facility is already at the max capacity that we’re able to use. We actually had to get rid of our clothing ministry because we didn’t have enough room because of how much we’ve expanded,” said Jason Boggs, pastor at Redeeming Grace.

The church already serves the community in a variety of ways and is looking to grow its ministries that include a soup kitchen, addiction recovery, counseling and clothing ministries, as well as help in new ways.

“We plan to do a homeless shelter during the winter time in the second story of the school to give a place for people in Rockingham County, as well as Moorefield and Petersburg and some that are in Franklin, anyone that needs a place to stay for the night,” said Boggs.

The church also plans to provide more confidential addiction counseling in the larger facility, as well as create a youth center to help address the high rates of teen drug use and suicides in the area.

“It’s gotten out of hand, so hopefully by opening doors, we can make a change,” said Richard Lockner, a Redeeming Grace member who also serves as the church’s treasurer.

“In this area everybody, drives to Virginia to get a job and to work, so there’s really no jobs over here. There’s not a lot of places for kids to go,” said Pastor Boggs. “So, we just want to get them in there and entertained to keep them out of trouble so they don’t resort to drugs.”

Redeeming Grace is a non-denominational church that lives up to it’s name. The building and its pastor having both been redeemed in their own way.

“At 15 years old, I served time for drugs, and so my heart is to reach out to this community and to have a chain breaking addiction program,” said Boggs.

The church’s current building was an old strip club before Boggs and his family decided to renovate it. Now it is a church dedicated to helping those in need and giving people a second chance.

“We as the Redeeming Grace ministry, we’re not a perfect place, but we feel like we’re the perfect place for imperfect people,” said Scott Combs, one of the other pastors at the church.

Like Boggs, Combs battled his own demons, struggling with alcoholism in the past before becoming a pastor. Boggs is proud that the church helps whoever needs it in a judgement free way.

“Everyone that walks in the door, we just love them,” he said. “We tell them ‘welcome home’ because we truly feel that they’re home, no matter what background they come from, no matter what they’ve done. If God can take a drug dealer and make him a preacher, God can do anything with their life.”

The church has currently raised just over $22,000 of the $350,000 needed to purchase the school building.

Anyone who wants to donate can do so here.

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