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New building, growth goals of church project

The Kynett Methodist Church on North Second Street has been inneed of repairs for years, and an effort to tear down the oldbuilding and replace it with a new one is just weeks away fromstarting.

“That building has been on that corner for years, since theearly 1900s,” said Pastor Annie Travis. “We’re rebuilding there tokeep the church legacy there. But we’re also trying to rebuildourselves as a church as far as our mission to the community.”

So the new life of the church building and the renewal of thechurch will take place together, church members hope. And theywon’t be doing it alone.

Heuck’s Retreat Baptist Church member Tillmon Bishop said hischurch’s men’s ministry will be chipping in as a way to reach outto fellow Christians, but also as a promise to an old friend.

“About a year and a half ago, I talked to (late Kynett member)Mr. John Hightower – he was an election commissioner and a good man- and he said they were planning on building new church and neededsome help with the demolition of the church they had,” Bishop said.”I told him I’d help him, our church ministry would help him withthe demolition of the church and they could take it fromthere.”

When Hightower died in May of last year, the project continued.Bishop said that and other changes couldn’t derail the plans tohelp.

“Mr. John passed away, and they changed pastors, and we met withthem,” he said. “We finally came to a point where we had theequipment. We’re really glad to help these people do this.”

Hightower’s widow, Josie Hightower, said members are excitedabout the project, because the building has been going downhill forsome time.

“It was not built on a slab,” she said. “And termites havegotten in there and eaten it up. It looks good, but it’s not a goodstable structure.”

Travis said when she came to the church in 2008, plans werealready under way, but that it is a blessing to see church membersachieving their dreams.

“We’re excited about it, it’s a new opportunity and a dream cometrue for many of the members,” she said. “This project startedbefore I got here, and I feel blessed to be a part of thejourney.”

Bishop said several individuals who own heavy equipment havedonated their time on Oct. 3 for the demolition, and that it shouldtake the better part of a day to get the church on the ground.

“Our church men’s ministry has done several small projects, butthis is the biggest one we’ve done obviously,” he said. “But thisis a good thing for them, and a good chance for us to serve.”

And still the parallel exists between God’s people and hischurch.

“Sometimes in a person’s life, you have to be really torn downto get built back up, and that’s what is happening to this church,”Bishop said. “I think for them to get back to where they need tobe, the building needs to be torn down to really be built backup.”