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Immanuel United Church in South Fairmount asking for help

Posted at 11:18 PM, Dec 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-29 23:18:21-05

CINCINNATI -- A South Fairmount church that's been helping people in need for nearly a century now needs the community's help. 

Immanuel United Church of Christ has been on Queen City Avenue since 1925, according to Pastor Walter McMurray Jr. It was once home to a congregation of 1,500 people. More than 90 years later, it has dwindled to 25. 

McMurray said the congregation may be small, but it's devoted.

"They opened this church as a mission to serve people in this community, and we have carried on the tradition ever since," he said. 

The congregation has seen a lot of people who are experiencing homelessness come into South Fairmount, according to McMurray.

"We have had four of them that overdosed," he said.

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So the congregation set up a food pantry and a soup kitchen, organized coat drives and gave mats to people sleeping outside, McMurray said. 

But not the church needs help. McMurray said it's been a rough year. Vandals smashed some of the church's windows and the building's conditions have declined.

"Everything had been coming down, it seemed like, to stop us from doing the things we are here to do," McMurray said. "But we keep bouncing back."

The congregation has now turned to a Gofundme page for help. Money raised will be used to repair the 91-year-old building, so they can continue to help those in need. 

McMurray, 80, said nothing will shut down his church.

"Grace of God. Somehow we come up with the money, or someone donates something for us," he said. 

Click here to visit the church's Gofundme page.