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Bethlehem Apostolic Temple Needs $150,000 for Repairs at Dream Center in North Wheeling

Photo by Joselyn King The Rev. Darrell Cummings, pastor of the Bethlehem Apostolic Temple in North Wheeling, describes Monday the extensive renovation work needed at the church’s Dream Center, located at 407 Main St.

WHEELING — A thermometer graphic inside the Bethlehem Apostolic Temple in North Wheeling tells the story — the church needs to raise about $150,000 to complete necessary renovations at its Dream Center.

The building has six levels of flat roof in need of repair, and work on the first section only comes with a price tag of $28,000. So far, $24,000 has been collected to begin the effort, according to the Rev. Darrell Cummings.

He is hoping for a miracle.

“I have never in my life had to raise $150,000,” Cummings said. “It’s a little out of my wheelhouse.”

The church had a special Easter Offering fundraiser that resulted in $4,000 to the project. There have been candy sales, and other efforts. Meanwhile, a church in Dayton, Ohio, who heard about the need kicked in money, he said.

“There have been local people who have helped, as well,” Cummings said. “We’ve come a long way, but we still have a way to go.”

The church has applied for grants, but most grant providers “don’t want to do buildings,” he explained.

“They want to do programs,” Cummings said. “But you have to have a building to house the programs.”

When the first section of the roof is paid off, work on the second section will begin, he said. It is expected to cost $13,000, with others down the line coming in at higher costs.

“As long as we keep raising money, we’ll keep getting it done,” Cummings said. “It might take a lot longer than we thought it would take, but we’ll get it done.”

Planned renovations can come to fruition, Cummings has learned. Fifteen years ago, the church bought property across from it that was in need of a roof and other repairs. After spending $62,000 on a roof and other renovations, the North Wheeling Activities Center building finally is under construction.

Cummings hopes to turn the building into a home for programs through Junior Achievement U.S.A.

Cummings said he is a product of Junior Achievement, which seeks to encourage youth to become young entrepreneurs. The organization’s goal is “to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.”

While there are many programs for children in the community, Cummings said there aren’t so many for teenagers and young adults.

He foresees youths baking, making T-shirts and other items and selling them on the first floor of the Activities Center. A new floor and bathroom have already been installed on the first floor, and the walls are almost ready for paint.

In the basement, electrical work has been run for a computer center and adjacent cooking area. In another area, drum kits sit waiting to be played. There are plans for a music room there where participants can record their own music.

But all the work takes money, and Cummings said he is paying off one loan at a time before taking on any others.

“When I first started working on it, the cost was a lot less,” he said of plans going back 15 to 20 years. “And now, as I keep working on it … the price keeps going up.”


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