Richmond church still rebuilding after '03 Thanksgiving fire

RICHMOND, Calif.

Davis Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Richmond is a work in progress. But progress has been painfully slow. The church burned down Thanksgiving Day 10 years ago. Since then, the congregation has been worshipping at its sister church in El Cerrito. But Pastor Cassandry Keys says it's time to come home.

"We're determined that Davis Chapel's home is in North Richmond, nowhere else," Pastor Keys said.

But finishing the church has been a struggle.

Pastor Keys joined Davis Chapel almost a year and half ago, and is faced with a massive project with no funding; and a mortgage that needs paying.

While the new church has taken shape, there is still a lot more work to be done here on the inside before parishioners can come here to worship.

"The insulation is what we most recently did and we're not quite finished cause we have to insulate the ceilings," Pastor Keys said.

The building also needs sheetrock, flooring, and three parking lots to accommodate the larger space.

Ideally, the church would like to open by the spring. So it's stepping up its fundraising efforts with a dining to donate event on Friday, Dec. 13.

"We have Applebee's in Pinole and Alameda where a person can go in and 20 percent of their meal will go toward helping rebuild Davis Chapel," Pastor Keys said.

There have been skeptics wondering if the work will ever be completed and if the money is really going to the project. Keys is counting every dollar to make sure it all goes the new church.

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