Ocean Park Church Requires US $ 100,000 in Donations to Reopen

Congregation in crisis, dependent on donations

A church in Ocean Park is in dire need of donations to cover the cost of repairing its ceiling that collapsed in April.

As she showed us the main Church shrine in Ocean Park, Rev. Janet Gollery McKeithen pointed to the ceiling and said, “About six months ago the ceiling fell on the floor from up there. Thankfully no one was hurt.”

She held a piece of what was coming down and said, “If this hits someone on the head, it could really hurt from this distance.”

The problem is the ceiling is full of areas waiting to fall, she added.

As a result, church officials decided in April to close the sanctuary to the public.

This place where people have prayed and where there are all sorts of activities for all sorts of people happened.

McKeithen is a United Methodist Minister. The church is interfaith.

“We have Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists … whatever you want, it’s all here,” said Marty Liboff, a church member who sings in the choir.

The problem is the almost 100 year old building … is old. There are signs of aging in a neighborhood where some of Santa Monica’s earliest residents lived. And even though the building is insured, McKeithen says “old age” is not insured.

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The church needs $ 100,000 to fix the ceiling. You and church members fear the whole thing may collapse. Liboff says if the place had to close for good, “it would be terrible for the whole community … but we can get lucky and find a few millionaires.”

McKeithen just hopes community members will join in and has set up a GoFundMe account.

But if they don’t raise the money, could they have to close the church? McKeithen says, “I don’t like to think about it, but that’s a possibility.”

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