Christians like to share the good news of Jesus Christ, but Brookfield United Methodist Church Pastor Matt Darrin had good news of a different kind for the congregation on April 21.

The church, which Darrin said on Palm Sunday was in danger of closing, is no longer in jeopardy, thanks to giving from church members and the community.

“We’re in a different place than we were just a month ago, with people stepping up the way that they have,” Darrin said.

The church spent more money than it took in in 2022 and 2023, and the church’s reserves were just about depleted. In response to that news, church members have said they will give more than they do now and, with fundraisers such as spaghetti dinners and craft shows, the church should take in more than it spends in 2024, Darrin said.

“We don’t have to let go of any of the staff,” Darrin said. “You don’t have to worry about church mergers or anything like that, because you’re gonna be able to afford to stay here.”

Brandy Berena, who runs the preschool, has agreed to reimburse the church for the hours the custodian cleans the preschool, Darrin said. Berena also has agreed to negotiate an increase in the per-pupil rate the preschool pays to use the church’s fellowship hall, he said.

Darrin’s son, Sam, who has been worship leader for nearly a year at the church, is graduating from college and exploring what he wants to do. If he decides to live at home, he will be able to carry on as worship leader, his father said. If he decides to take a job out of town, BUMC will be able to share a pastor with another church, Darrin said.

Darrin also had good news to share about the money needed to replace the church’s roof. An anonymous donor has agreed to pay $14,500 into the roof fund, and local charitable groups, who also have not been named, have agreed to match whatever the church raises in its roof fund, Darrin said.

Darrin added that he wants to put whatever additional money the preschool pays into the roof fund.

Church member Chad Kreuzer approached the charitable groups and plans to reach out to local businesses and organizations to see if they would be willing to make a contribution, which would then be matched.

“It’s a great plan,” Darrin said of Kreuzer’s plan, adding that parishioners have pledged another $10,000 for the roof fund.

Bob Finzel, head of the church trustees, said the roof issue is actually two issues: the original slate roof over the sanctuary, which was built in 1929; and the three-layer shingle roof over the fellowship hall. The church is facing a minimum of $200,000 to do both, he said.

“I’m not telling you that both of these or either one of these are imminent, like, right this second,” Finzel said. “But, we’re chasing this problem on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis. We’re Band-aiding it where we can, where we find it appropriate to do so.”

The church recently had a repairman in to fix a leak in the slate roof and in the rubber roof over the narthex, he said.

Although the task of replacing the roofs will be daunting, Darrin stressed that what the church has accomplished in about a month’s time and how the community has responded to the need is nothing short of amazing.

“Praise the Lord,” he said.

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