Students spruce up church's parsonage by David Lias The small congregation of the Providence Reformed Church of the U.S. in Vermillion faced a daunting task.
A new pastor will begin serving the church this summer. But Providence Reformed�s parsonage was plagued with a number of problems.
The home hasn�t been lived in for at least three years.
Paint was peeling from the house, both inside and out. Several years� worth of dust and cobwebs had collected, and the structure�s full basement was in bad shape because a sump pump had failed during a heavy rain sometime in the past.
Paint on the basement�s floors and concrete block walls was peeling and discolored.
The list of things that needed to be done to make the house habitable seemed endless.
That all changed April 28. The home received a big boost, thanks, in part, to the mere fact that Jon and Shelly Meyers, two of Providence Reformed�s regular Sunday worshippers, both attended and graduated from Unity Christian High School in Orange City, IA.
Jon, a University of South Dakota student, and Shelly, a secretary at USD�s school of business, keep in close contact with their alma mater.
�Each year, the youth from the school look for a service project to complete,� Jon said.
The Meyers put the word out that the students� help would be more than welcome in Vermillion.
Early in the morning of April 28, the church parsonage became the target of 21 students from Unity Christian High.
They scraped paint from floors and walls. They peeled faded wallpaper. They scrubbed windows. They cleared brush from the yard.
They began to make the neglected house look more like a home.
The church�s new pastor, Rev. Robert Grossman, and his wife are scheduled to move here July 15.
Thanks to the high school students, it appears they will have a comfortable place to live.
�This definitely is a collective effort,� Jon said, as he coordinated last Thursday�s volunteer cleanup effort.
Five families currently attend Providence Reformed. �There are 13 professing members, and three children who have been baptized,� Jon said.
Church membership includes people from USD and the Vermillion community.
�The focus of the church is the community itself,� Jon said, �so there will be more permanent members. But the USD outreach will always be there.�