Little did I know at the time, that I (Sam Croghan) would end up pastoring this church. Pastor Troy Bohn asked me to take over pastoring Crosslife in June of 2015. Since then, it has been a blessing to pastor this community.
Since the conception of Crosslife, and even more so after taking the lead pastor role in 2015, I have come to realize how economically challenged many of the residents of Westwego really are. Starting back in 2009, the economic turmoil that has gripped this city began with the impending total shut down of Avondale Ship Yard. It was at this time that the ship yard began its final shut down, and began laying off employees.
Between 2009 and 2014 when the final shut down occurred, over 20,000 residents of Westwego and the surrounding areas (ie. Bridge City, Avondale, Nine Mile Pointe, and Marrero) lost their jobs. During this same time Westwego has gone from a thriving city of over 13,000 residents to less than 8,000 residents; according to the most recent demographic data available. And a majority of those residents are on some sort of fixed income.
For this reason, in December of 2014, Crosslife opened the doors of Crosslife Cafe. Upon opening, we began to feed and fulfill the need in the community one day a week. Since that time, the need has grown and we are currently open 3 days each week. During this time, we have free meals for the community, as well as, clothing and non-perishable food products that we give away when available. There have been many times where we have had the need to help supply benevolence to help families in need with electric bills, gas bills, etc.
Since 2013, God has blessed us with being able to move from a slightly less than 3,000 sf facility to the local Old Fireman’s Hall facility with almost 9,000 sf of space to include a kitchen and dining area to help support Crosslife Cafe. Also, since that time, the cost of supplying the need of the cafe has risen.
Upon entering into an agreement with the owner of the Old Foreman’s Hall the possibility for the future purchase of the facility was discussed. Due to the needs in the community, the congregation has not been able to actively pursue this opportunity. At the beginning of 2018, as we were coming to the end of our 2 year lease, we were presented with an interesting dilemma. We were able to renew our lease for a one year term with the understanding that at the end of that year we would purchase the building.
So our journey to actively purchase the Old Fireman’s Hall began. The building purchase will be for $300,000. With the cost of the building at $300,000, we will need $60,000 as a down payment for the mortgage. Since January we have had Yard Sales, Bake Sales, we have sold wrist bands, Crosslife Decals and other miscellaneous items in order to raise the funds needed. Unfortunately, we are still very shy of our goal.
The situation is this... we need another $50,000 for the down payment to purchase the building we are currently in. There are NO other building within this city that will supply the need that we have, so we can continue to do the ministry at the level we are currently involved. Even if there was, the cost of returning the current building to its previous condition (a stipulation in our lease), paying for rent at our current building, while also paying rent for a new building, as well as, construction costs for a new building to meet all fire codes for church assemblies would be very cost prohibitive.
As a result, we are asking for your help. In order for us to stay in the city where God placed our church body so we can continue to minister to the need of the residents here, we need a financial miracle. We believe that this is where God has placed us (both the city and building), because this is where He wants us. We have experienced too many miracles. Salvations, healings, deliverances, reconciliations have all been a part of what Jesus has done through us in this city. We believe God has called is to continue in this work. We serve nearly 2000 meals a month, hand out hundreds of dollars of clothes and non-perishable food every month to meet the need here. To our knowledge, there are no other churches in the community doing this. And, to make things worse, the local food pantry closed its doors last year.
We need your help to purchase our building so we can continue to minister to the residents of Westwego both physically and spiritually! Please consider making a donation to help us continue ministering in the Westwego area.
- Linda Grayson
- OFFLINE DONATIONS
- Michele Perez
- Michele Perez
- OFFLINE DONATIONS
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