Effort in works to buy, fix up old church

By jeanne starmack



High grass and weeds are a forlorn congregation these days on the lawn at the old church building next to the city hall, but that may soon change.

A city councilman who wants to turn the old Faith Temple Baptist Church into a community center says he intends to call a meeting this week for people who are interested in making that goal a reality.

Bryan Tedesco, 2nd Ward councilman, says he is gathering a committee to oversee raising $50,000 to buy the old building. Five acres is included with the property.

“We’re going to talk about what we plan to do to make money and raise donations,” Tedesco said.

The intent, he said, is to turn the building over to the city. The city would then pursue grants to rehabilitate it, he said.

The building was the focus of a similar effort two years ago by a panel that formed at the request of the city’s Ecumenical Council.

That panel planned a youth center, with nonprofit organizations having a presence in the building. Neighborhood Ministries, a social agency in Campbell that had representatives on the panel, proposed to manage the center.

But the plan didn’t get too far. The group wanted help from the city council and administrators to get grants for buying and rehabbing the building. At the time, city leaders were beset with problems over the city’s bleak financial picture and infighting that ended up in court as the mayor tried to replace the finance director. They never gave the panel any feedback on grants, and panel leaders eventually said they were no longer interested in pursuing the plan.

Gerald Hamilton of Neighborhood Ministries said last week that the agency is on board with Tedesco’s plan.

Tedesco said he is excited about the plan.

“I got this in my heart,” he said. “I think it’s going to be the best thing that ever happened to Campbell.”

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