Alum Bridge Elementary School and grounds were sold at auction March 29. Pastor Craig Snyder of Weston Church of God was the highest bidder, and he has big plans for the property.
Snyder said the purchase of the building came to him about two months ago at a Sunday night service.
“God spoke to me and told me to buy a property and feed the poor,” he continued. He added that he told his congregation, and people began to donate.
“It was already the heart of the church to do something, but didn’t know how,” said Snyder.
Snyder has until May 12, to pay off the property, which was sold for $38,000. He said he knows he did the right thing, and now he has to have faith it will happen. Snyder is the sole owner of the property, not the Church of God.
Snyder’s plans for the property will be to remodel the two trailers that sits on the property into small homes. He said there are two families in the area who are living in poor conditions and paying high rent.
Snyders will rent the trailers to these families. One member of one of the families will work in the soup kitchen that will be established in the main school building. Snyder said it has always been the future tenant’s dream to help feed the needy.
“These are Christian people-kind, loving, and caring people,” Snyder stressed.
The main building will house a soup kitchen, which he hopes to have ready by the end of this current school year. He said he is aware of children going hungry when they are not in school, and wants to be ready to serve prior to summer break.
Snyder’s congregation is coming together to help get everything started, but he is also looking into grant opportunities to help start and maintain outreach services.
Snyder hopes to have a clothing closet, as well. People will be able to come and get things they need, and they will be taking donations, too.
“Everything we do will be solely for bettering the lives in the community,” he said.
The playground equipment will remain on the grounds for community use. Snyder would like to add more small housing units to help people get affordable housing. He is in negotiations to add a third house on the property right now.
Snyder’s goal is to create a culture of rescue, hope and goodness.
“I love this town and the people, and I want to show the love I feel towards the area. It’s a wonderful place,” he said.
Snyder has also drawn up a loan amortization paper if someone wants to help finance the outreach center.
“Whatever they give, they will see a return in the community,” said Snyder.
Donations can be made to Weston Church of God, with ministry center as the memo. Everyone who donates will receive a tax receipt.
Donations can be mailed or dropped off at 124 E. 4th St. Weston, 26452. For more information, call Snyder at 304-677-3148. Donations of time and labor would also be welcome, Snyder said.
Snyder came to Weston as an associate pastor. After nine months at the Church of God, he took over as senior pastor on Feb. 6, 2016, when the former pastor retired.