Act of charity gives Raleigh church new home
Posted March 25, 2014
Updated March 26, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — There is a joyful noise coming from downtown Raleigh.
One of the songs belted from the new Ship of Zion Church says “get on board, there is room in here.”
But that wasn't always the case.
“It was kind of rough,” said Chris Jones, church pastor.
For nearly 13 years, the ministry’s home was an old home on Blount Street.
A building beaten over time, like the community around it, Jones said.
"When we came there, there was a lot of gang activity, a lot of drug dealing," he said.
Some of the scars on the old building included bullet holes. One of those bullets almost hit Jones.
“If we hadn’t been standing in the pulpit, we would have gotten shot,” he said.
The incident illustrated why the church was needed, helping those who need it most.
But their building was falling apart. Another Raleigh Pastor, Mike Lee of Hope Community Church made them an offer.
“You don’t need a building to have a church, but it sure is nice, isn’t it,” Lee said.
The offer surprised Jones.
“First, my mouth fell open,” he said. “That felt so good to us. We cried.”
Lee’s congregation quickly raised money to purchase and renovate the Lee Street building.
It wasn’t a hard decision, Lee said.
“Not at all, I mean, we thought about it for four seconds,” he said. “It was a good investment for a church.”
A few services have already been held in the new building. More than 200 people showed up to the first one, so many that it was standing room only.
Jones plans to use the new building to continue what he has started.
“We were touching the people right on the street corners,” he said.