Christian temple on the brink of financial extinction

August 1, 2013 10:08:42 AM PDT
The Temple of Unified Christians is a modest congregation in East Orange, but a devoted one.

They are mostly Haitian, mostly low income worshippers whose faith is deep, but whose pockets are not.

"We have to raise a minimum of $350,000, a minimum. Because we want to raise that to give to the bank," said Rev. Jean Maurice, pastor.

The congregation, is a couple hundred people strong, gathers in a small room near the main sanctuary of this near two hundred year old brick church.

It's a landmark in East Orange, a once beautiful, lavish space with stunning stained glass windows, it has fallen, as has the neighborhood around it, into disrepair.

The pastor can't keep up with the mortgage and both the church and all it does for the community are threatened.

"If we cannot raise the money we will lose this facility, we absolutely will lose it because the bank has been very patient," Rev. Pierre said.

"It means the world to me, it has instilled me with so much values throughout God's work and really laid a foundation for me," a parishioner said.

"It is a blessing, blessing, we worship God, it's a good place to come and worship," another worshipper said.

Right now the pastor doesn't know, the congregation doesn't know what's going to happen with their church. They know that 90 days isn't very long, they know they have a lot of money to raise, and they are kind of counting on a miracle.

"When you pray at night, what do you pray for?" Eyewitness News asked.

"I pray for God to send the resources that we need, we know the resources are out there. I trust God, God can do it, nothing is impossible for God," Rev. Pierre said.