HANNIBAL | The former Westside Christian Church is being transformed into a new facility geared toward providing outreach for people facing hardship, and more volunteer efforts are being sought to help bring everything together.
Corey Allen, with Consumed Ministries and co-owner of A2Z Construction, watched as employees Justin Miller and Brandon Lamont replaced the roof Monday on the building. Jevin and Stephanie Morris, founders of Catalyst for the Nations Ministry, purchased the formerchurch and will move into the basement to provide resources and support for people facing homelessness, drug addiction or other challenges. Young said A2Z Construction was donating the work to replace the roof, and he said that the new rescue facility will help to expand outreach efforts already underway with area groups like Turning Point Recovery Center and Shiloh Christian Children's Ranch.
“'We're already doing it, we're just putting a name to it,” Allen said. “We've got several people right now that we're helping transition from either drug addiction or just tough times into life.”
Allen said the Morris family will be partnering with members of Consumed Industries, and he's been forging connections with other area contractors to help with future jobs to prepare the building for worship and outreach. He encouraged any volunteers, churches or other community organizations to reach out for a cause that could bring a complete turnaround for people struggling with difficult situations.
After Hannibal's Hope House closed in August due to factors like funding shortfalls and the building's deteriorating condition, Allen said Troy had the closest location for someone without a home to seek services. With the new ministry, Allen said the main goal is to help people remain on the right path — connecting them with job opportunities, apartment options and support through the church.
John Abright and David Pagett were working on the grounds and other parts of the building's exterior. Abright remembered when the church was full of congregation members back in the 1980s. He's lived in the neighborhood for the past 13 years, and he was glad to see the building serving a positive purpose again. Pagett agreed.
“It's something we've been needing for a long time here,” Pagett said.
Allen said he looks forward to expanding existing connections among local residents and businesses as the mission moves forward. So far, local residents and businesses have been teaming up to help as the renovation projects move from the roof replacement to tasks like interior work.
“We're a small church with a big vision,” Allen said. “We know God's going to honor it.”
More information about volunteer opportunities and the mission are available by calling Allen at 573-822-3136.