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Road expansion takes sanctuary; leader calls it a “blessing in disguise”


Sister Barbra Glenn and Volunteers Ruth Lofton and Doris Robinson price items at Cornerstone Thrift Store located on Old Vina Road in Red Bay. | Nathan Strickland/FCT


RED BAY- The expansion of Alabama 24 from Russellville to the Mississippi line has taken several residences in Red Bay including half of Cornerstone Church of God’s old worship site leaving members to come up with a solution on what to do with the half that was left.

Pastor Jerry Glenn and wife, Barbra took over as the church’s worship leaders close to one year before the roadway plans took the church’s sanctuary, but believes the state leaving behind the fellowship hall serves as more of a “blessing in disguise.”

“We had worship services for about one year in the fellowship hall before relocating to our new building,” Barbra Glenn said.

“I heard of a lot of younger members who were sad that the sanctuary was taken because they had a lot of memories there.

“I’m sure it was devastating to some of the charter members as well, but I believe the church needed to be relocated because if the old church would have remained here there were a lot of structural problems that needed to be fixed that would have cost a lot more money then electing to just rebuild.”

Sister Glenn said the location of the new building, located on U.S. 43 on the west side of Red Bay, draws more visitors to come in and attend worship services because it is on the main road.

Photo of the old Cornerstone Church of God sanctuary in the late 1980s. | Contributed


She said when it came to choosing what to do with the part of the building that wasn’t taken by the state; she reached for a past experience.

“My husband and I came from a church in Scottsboro where our church had its own thrift store to help out those in need and to help with expenses of the church,” she said. “So I spoke with the ladies of our congregation and they thought it would be a good idea to turn the old fellowship hall into a thrift store.”

Sister Glenn said around 80 percent of the store has been donated from people who are cleaning out their closets and those who want to get rid of their yard sale leftovers.

“This is strictly a mission project,” she said.

“We have 10 to 15 different volunteers who run the store and volunteer Terry Parsons has purchased some items from flea markets to put in the store for those looking for newer stuff.

“We make sure everything is clean and useful before putting a price tag on it. We pretty much have everything a small department store has.”

Glenn said the Lord has really blessed them with donations.

“We have gradually added and taken away stuff, but it is coming along,” she said.

Fellowship Hall of the same building turned into a thrift store after the expansion of Alabama 24. | Nathan Strickland/FCT


“We take applications for those needing assistance. We just hope the store will ultimately help with our community outreach and use items gathered to assist those in the community financially and spiritually.”

The store has already been able to produce groceries for Restoration Ranch, help those who have lost homes to a fire and had helped people who are financially strapped due to the economy.

The Cornerstone Thrift Store is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday-Friday and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until noon.

Tax receipts are available for those donating items to the store.