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Historic Roanoke church raising money for extensive repairs

Greene Memorial UMC has not been able to use sanctuary for months

ROANOKE, Va. – Greene Memorial United Methodist Church is one of downtown Roanoke's most iconic buildings, but the historic church has been under reconstruction.

The church, which opened its doors in 1892, is undergoing work to its sanctuary and its brick exterior that could add up to $100,000. The Rev. Philip Waltz decided to help pay for the repairs by creating a GoFundMe fundraiser for it.

"We thought we would go and take advantage of a new option for fundraising, to reach out across the country and across the world through GoFundMe," Waltz said. "It's not just to make a building beautiful, it's to continue the ministries of this church and its vital relationship."

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The sanctuary has been off-limits to the congregation since work began to mitigate a mold problem in March. In the meantime, Waltz has moved church services to a hall in its basement.

"We're excited to get back in the sanctuary," Waltz said. "I think there's a sense of urgency to see what they have done."

Waltz hopes the move to use GoFundMe to fundraise will allow anyone to financially help Greene Memorial continue its historic mission.

"The community has changed, the church has changed, but its fundamental role has never changed," Waltz said. "That is to be a Christian presence in the downtown area."


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