Sunday, April 18, 2010

360 Sunday Extra: Old Church Gets Running Water

A small church in Godfrey, Illinois made history this week.

For the first time in 163 years, its members have running water.

"Seeing that the development is coming up around, they figured we had water because of all the homes around but we didn't," said the Rev. Brian Williams Sr., pastor of Rocky Fork Church.

The church, once a link in the Underground Railroad, tried to get a water line but learned it was too expensive.

"When we tried to get the water line in, it was in the hundreds of thousands as far as labor and material cost," Williams said.

So time marched on, until the congregation finally decided to take matters into its own hands.

"We realized we could do it ourselves," Williams said. "You know, our labor, our costs. And, we did it."

The project cost about $3,000. Before this, church members would tap into a nearby fire hydrant for water, paying a quarter a gallon and trucking the water back to a tank at the church.

"We would use water for the dishes and the bathroom. ... We just never drank it. We just used it for flushing toilets and all that," said the pastor's mother, Joan Williams.

The original church was built in 1863 by Erasmus Green and Andrew Jackson Hindman, the great-great grandfather of the current pastor.

That building burned down in the late 1920s. Rebuilt shortly afterward, the church used bottled water for such rites as baptisms.

Church leaders said attendance has improved with the new water line. Patience is a virtue and God's wonders never cease.

Thanks to KTVI-FOX2

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