The Faithful Church of Christ on Woodrow Ave. in Mattapan is approaching the completion of a two-year-long renovation project with hopes of re-opening this month. â€œIf I tore my hair out every time there was a problem, I would be bald, but it turned out to be a wonderful piece of work, â€œ said the churchâ€™s pastor, Hershel Langham.
The renovation, which started in July 2007, cost close to $2 million, most of which was raised by members of the congregation. Beyond the construction on site, planning the renovation took three years of extensive interviews with contractors and meetings with the church community.
â€œWe had a lot of meetings with the congregation to see what everyone wanted.â€ said Pastor Langhamâ€™s wife, Jacqueline. â€œWe then refined the input and figured out which rooms could be put to multiple uses. Everyone wanted the elevators.â€
The hallmarks of the renovation are the handicap access features, including the elevators and ramps. The renovation also included various additions to the sanctuary, a redone dining hall and kitchen, new administrative offices, classrooms, and stairwells alon with a state-of-the-art sewerage system which was needed due to occasional flooding and sewer backups in the area.
According to the Langhams, these improvements will provide the facilities to better serve the community. They also hinted at naming some of the new rooms for community members, although they have â€œnot reached that point yet.â€
Faithful Church of Christ has been in existence for 75 years, although the building on Woodrow Ave has been there since 1900. It was previously home to a Baptist church, and later a Jewish synagogue, before it was sold to Faithful Church in the 1930â€™s.
â€œThis was a major, major undertaking,â€ said Pastor Langham, â€œIt was very important for us to keep the church in the community. The church should remain in the community.â€