RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - One staff member of the Jerusalem Baptist Church in the city’s Church Hill neighborhood has spent the last three days digging a hole in the front lawn, in order to access the church’s plumbing.
It’s the first step of the process of restoring the church’s water service.
“Myself, my kids, nieces, and nephews that framed it, put the siding on,” said Hartwell Carey Macon, Jr., the church’s worship leader. He helped build this church with his family 25 years ago. Hartwell, Sr. is the church’s head pastor.
For the past few weeks, the church’s faucets run dry and the toilets sit stagnant, while they rely on the kindness of neighbors for water.
“[One neighbor] told me just come get what I want, whenever I wanted to. And a couple of times, we’ve brought water from home,” Macon said.
He claims the church lost water after the city repaired on a sinkhole and water line outside.
”They actually did all the repairs. Repaired everything that belonged to the city of Richmond. And when I went down to City Hall and told them about it at the city office, they told me that everything from the meter going back to the church was on us,” he said.
Feeling helpless, Macon says he contacted private contractors for the repairs to the church’s water, with one telling him that they would knock down the price if the church handled the digging.
And so for three days, the worship leader has been hard at work, chipping away at the lawn - all for the health and safety of the churchgoers.
”When we do have services out here on the lawn, somebody - the kids, or somebody - is going to need to use the bathroom. If you don’t have running water, we have to get it from the neighbors or bring it from home or buckets or whatever just to flush the toilets,” Macon added.
He says the job is estimated to cost a few thousand dollars to complete.
On Tuesday afternoon, the City’s Department of Public Utilities confirmed for NBC12 that they did repair work in front of the church on June 11. They say during the repair, they discovered the plumbing connections to the church were not properly connected, and that they have been in touch with Macon about resolving the issue.
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