Martinez church in need of repairs asks for help

For decades, the main mission of the Second Baptist Church near downtown Martinez has been to help those who are homeless or struggling.

It hands out free clothing from its garage and groceries from its pantry. But now it is the church that needs help.  

"When I see this happening I feel sad about it," said church deacon Bobby Boyd, who showed us the back patio. "When you walk on the sidewalk under there is hollow," he said.

More than 10-feet of the back patio, near where pre-school children used to play, is steadily crumbling and tumbling into Alhambra Creek.

When the creek overflows its banks as it did during last year's rainstorms, a bad problem gets even worse. 

The floor of the downstairs community center has cracks almost as long as the room itself.

"It is sad to me. What we used to have is gone. And it is leaving ever more over time," said Clarine Merritt, a longtime church member.

The 200-member church worries about the problem getting worse and worse.

"If we have further damage to the property we may have to leave the building. If that happens we won't be able to minister to the community," said associate church pastor Delores McCrary.

The flooding may be an act of God. But fixing the church will take acts of generosity.

The church owns the property and is on the hook for the repairs.

It has received estimates of $600,000 to build a retaining wall and fix all the problems. But it could at least start the repair work with about $300,000..

So far the church has raised just $4,000. 

Church members are launching a community-wide fundraising campaign and plan to reach out to other churches in the area.

"It may not be overnight, or a short amount of time, but I am optimistic and hopeful. And i believe we will get some help," said McCrary.

The church is planning a volunteer creek cleanup Saturday, November 3 at 10a.m. at 1020 Las Juntas Street in Martinez.

Those wishing to help may visit their PushPay site for online donations.

Donations also can be made through texting 2bcm to 77977 and following the provided links.