GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW) – Pastor Charles Redmon Jr. is proud to be the leader of New Journey Church, a Garfield Heights staple that he describes as being designed to help others.
“This is our heart and soul. We pour our heart and soul into this ministry,” said Pastor Redmon.
New Journey’s congregation is made up of about 30 people and meets once a week for an 11 a.m. service on Sunday.
Pastor Redmon is the first to tell you that the church isn’t meant to be a money maker.
“We are a very small congregation and if it was about the money, I would have left a long time ago,” said Pastor Redmon.
A tight operating budget also means a razor thin margin for error. Any incident, big or small, can do a lot of damage financially and set the church back in a big way.
“It’s difficult to continue to ask the parishioners who are on a fixed income. Some of them are strapped themselves, needing help from us,” said Pastor Redmon.
On Christmas Day, Pastor Redmon says it was a phone call that alerted him to the unthinkable — someone had driven their car into his church.
At first, Pastor Redmon couldn’t believe it.
However, when he arrived at his church, Pastor Redmon found a mess both inside and outside their property.
“It’s one of those things, like, what are we going to do? That was my big thing. What are we going to do? I hope nothing is impacted, I hope nothing is stolen out of there,” said Pastor Redmon.
Garfield Heights police confirmed that someone drove through the intersection of Osborn Road, continued about 100 feet off the roadway and struck New Journey Church. The car was not on scene when the police arrived.
Pastor Redmon says the damage done is extensive, costing anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 to fix.
To make matters worse, their insurance won’t cover any of it because the building isn’t a total loss.
“Oh, (it hurts) big time. Big time because I don’t know where we are going to get the money,” said Pastor Redmon.
Pastor Redmon says has no idea who is responsible or how this could have happened.
However, he’s not angry at the suspect.
Also, he knows it’s a long road to recovery and will need all the help they can get.
“If anybody is willing to help, information of the person or funds to help us rebuild, we would absolutely be so incredibly grateful for that,” said Redmon.
New Journey Church has started a GoFundMe online to help them raise money to rebuild. You can donate here.