SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Springfield’s last remaining African American church in the United Methodist denomination needs community help to repair damages to the building.

The Pitts Chapel United Methodist Church is working to raise a quarter of a million dollars for the damages.

In their sanctuary, there’s lots of water damage on the ceiling along with some rubble on some stairs and walls.

Pastor Russell Ewell II tells me the damages are 40 or fewer years in the making.

When workers fixed a layer of the ceiling, they didn’t create vents, and it allowed moisture to get in and destroy the plaster. Which eventually fell out in 2018.

Ewell says besides the ceiling, he’s hoping the lighting, wiring and outside ramp get fixed.

He also wants to build a wheelchair accessible bathroom.

He has been with the church for two years, and he has yet to lead a service inside the sanctuary.

Ewell says none of this is possible without the community’s help.

Rev. Russell Ewell II, the Senior Pastor at Pitts Chapel UMC, says, “Everyone loves this space. This sanctuary. It means so much. And to get back in is our heart’s desire. Is to begin to worship again in this lovely space. We definitely could use assistance from businesses, from corporations, from individuals, from other churches; however, anyway, it comes in would be a blessing to us.”