Local News

Former Henderson Textile Plant Has New Calling

Posted January 13, 2004 1:46 a.m. EST

— As textile plants close, empty buildings are left behind. One such building in Vance County is being used to weave a thread of hope through the lives of people in the community.

South Henderson Pentecostal Holiness Church is buying a sprawling 48,000-square-foot building owned by textile company Americal.

"As a result of us manufacturing so much less of the products that we are selling presently, it's freed up a lot of buildings that we no longer need," said Donald Matthews of Americal.

Soon the facility will have a new owner with a new mission.

"The door opened across the street here, where we can purchase this property and continue to expand. We are bursting at the seams here," said Ron Keefer of the South Henderson Pentecostal Holiness Church.

The church will turn the old plant into a youth center, a food pantry and a clothing closet to serve the needy. It also hopes to add a private school for elementary, middle and high schoolers within a few years.

It is a new life for another old building abandoned by the textile industry. The building has served many purposes over the years -- even serving as a candy factory.