MAYFIELD - A two-year old promise will be fulfilled Sunday, when the Rev. John McCullough is expected to join members of the Mayfield Central Presbyterian Church for their third annual CROP Hunger Walk.
McCullough, CEO of Church World Services, will lead a worship service at the church Sunday, exactly two years after the church was destroyed by fire.
McCullough had come to the first CROP Walk, which was done days after the 2011 fire that destroyed the church building. At that time, he promised to come back to the church once it was rebuilt, according to Carol Cownie, a local organizer of the CROP Walk.
The Rev. Bonnie Orth, pastor of the Mayfield Central Presbyterian Church, speaks with guests during an open house Friday evening. The congregation hosted public events every night this week to show off its new building. (The Leader-Herald/Arthur Cleveland)
The old church caught fire April 28, 2011, after lightning struck the steeple. The church was demolished and construction later began on the new building.
Cownie said having this year's CROP Walk on the second anniversary of the fire will bring the congregation full circle.
"It's great. It's hard to explain," Cownie said.
She said the route for the walk will take the participants to the Mayfield Elementary School's track field, then back to the church.
According to Cownie, the church's first CROP Walk was almost canceled, with people concerned that to hold the event after the fire wouldn't be right. However, the lack of a church building has not prevented the members of the congregation from gathering for worship and events. Cownie said finally having rebuilt the church, the congregation is joyful.
"Being here is like coming home. This is where we belong; this is where we are going to be," Cownie said.
According to a news release, all funds raised during the CROP Walk go toward the elimination of hunger around the world, with 25 percent being directed locally. The money, according to Cownie, is raised through donations.
The Rev. Bonnie Orth, pastor of the church, said it opened to the public for Easter services, and more than 200 people attended. Holding an open house with live music every evening this week, Orth said, the church has had many visitors and well-wishers.
"There's a lot of people who helped us out and they want to see the church," Orth said.
Construction of the new church began in July. It can seat more than 200 people. The one-story church is 7,444 square feet and includes an attic, a sanctuary and space for a fellowship hall. The building includes a nursery, two classrooms, a choir room, a small conference room, several closet spaces, a food pantry, a kitchen and offices.
"We've been very busy every night," Orth said.
Registration for the CROP Walk will take place at 12:15 p.m. Sunday, and the walk will start at 12:30 p.m. All are welcome to participate.