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North Side Church Facing Dwindling Membership, Finances

(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

CRAWLEY Dave Crawley
Dave Crawley joined KDKA in April of 1988 where he reports on the...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The pastor of a Baptist church on the North Side has put his money where his prayers are.

Reverend Algie Robinson and his wife Annie have shared their faith, without salary, ever since they purchased the century-old building in 1999.

“The Gospel is free,” says the pastor. “I’m not supposed to charge anyone for what God’s word is supposed to say to them.”

Twelve years ago, Christian Fellowship Baptist Church served a congregation of 200. But neighbors have moved away, and the congregation has dwindled to 50 or so.

With expenses mounting, the church the couple worked so hard for faced foreclosure. Unable to bear the thought of losing their church, they withdrew $8,500 from their personal savings to send to the Oklahoma company which holds the mortgage. The sheriff’s sale is off, at least for now.

“Used to be a time when people cared about a neighborhood church,” says Rev. Robinson. “Now they think there’s just a building sitting there, with a preacher in there wanting them to bring him a dollar.”

It will take $25,000 to pay off the mortgage. But Annie Robinson is with her husband, all the way. “There’s got to be a purpose for us being here,” she says. “And I believe God will help us through this. He’s going to show us what to do.”

But for now, they pass the collection plate and pray.