December 19, 2016 12:09 PM
Just in time for the holidays, the North Texas Roofing Contractors Association (NTRCA) donated materials, money and labor to tear off and re-roof the Greater Progressive Church of God in Christ in Fort Worth last week.
A beacon of light for more than 5 decades, the church has, in recent years, fallen on hard times due to many unexpected and devastating life changes in its Pastor’s life.
Dr. J.L. Johnson, a navy veteran, has served as the leader of the church for 57 years. In 2010, Pastor Johnson's wife, Alma Johnson, was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer, followed by a mastectomy, radiation and chemotherapy treatments, all of which left her completely bedridden. Shortly thereafter, the Johnson’s home caught fire and, despite attempts by the pastor and a neighbor to rescue Mrs. Johnson, they were unsuccessful. Grief-stricken by the loss of his wife and seeing her remains after she suffered third degree burns over 90% of her body, Pastor Johnson then struggled with prolonged depression and resulting financial hardships. In 2013, he had a debilitating stroke. To make matters worse, the church lost many of its members during this time. As the church's roof started to deteriorate and leak, the church could not afford to keep up with repairs, let alone re-roof the building.
When NTRCA learned of the church's story and the condition of its roof, staff and members quickly put the wheels in motion to gather member donations of materials, money and labor, so this project could be completed in time for Christmas.
“This is the largest community service project NTRCA has undertaken in years,” said Karen Vermaire Fox, executive director of NTRCA. “It’s important to us that we help this church rebuild in time for them to hold leak-free, worry-free Christmas services this year.”
The entire congregation is incredibly grateful for the generosity of NTRCA's members. Pastor Johnson, now 91, is especially happy to see his beloved church restored.