FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Over the summer, the Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church was gifted their former church property on Cleveland Avenue that had been sold in the late 1980s. Now, church members, elders and community members are working to restore it for use as a community outreach site called Mt. Zion’s Center of Hope.

Leaders of the church expressed that their current needs to get the center going are donations of time, labor, knowledge or monetary donations. 

“So, there are three things that we need, you can see from the pulpit we need to do woodwork, we need to do lots of work in the basement, plastering, drywalling, things of that sort. But we are grateful for the men that are here. We have outside work that’s done, um, pulling back trees and things of that nature” said Dr. Mark A. Staples, senior pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church. “Inside a lot of paint that has to be scraped off, the original paint. We’re grateful for the beautiful architecture, structure, that is here, it is amazing, and that it is still intact.”  

Staples said there are three additional ways to offer help, prayer, resources and workers. On Nov. 6, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., members of the church will be continuing work on the restoration.  

“The Mt. Zion Outreach Center of Hope, what our plans are, are many plans. If you go down this route here you’ll notice there are no sidewalks, however, there are many residents that live in Fairmont Hills Apartments as well as many people with houses and I see them walking daily,” Staples said. “So, lots of things we’re planning to do, we’re planning to collaborate with other to be partners of hope with us.” 

The Mt. Zion’s Center of Hope will try to plant seeds of hope by not only helping kids, but also parents, those suffering from addiction, and marriage counseling, to name just a few.