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Pastors unite to build Habitat home for Rock Hill man

Ministers from around Rock Hill came together Tuesday to give someone a better life – and to build some bridges within the faith community.

Habitat for Humanity of York County’s first annual Clergy Day saw about 20 ministers from different churches come together to help with the Faith Build to raise a house on Crawford Road for a neighbor in need.

“Many people in the community don’t have the opportunities we have,” Habitat executive director Tim Veeck reminded the volunteers in a devotional. Tuesday was a chance to “come together and provide affordable housing with a safe and decent home.”

Habitat board member Sam McGregor said the effort allowed ministers to “see each other’s churches and have a connection to each other.”

“Clergy Day is a marvelous witness that we are out here doing our best – and hopefully it will encourage others to do the same.”

This Faith Build began in March, and Veeck said they hope to have the house finished by the end of June.

House owner Herbert Pouge Jr. knows how fortunate he is to be involved in this project.

“It caught me by surprise,” he said. “It is a humbling experience and it’s awesome to see that they all came to help.”

Pouge said he plans on continuing to work with Habitat once his house is built.

“It plays a big part of my life to continue to give back,” he said. “I wanted to make an impact and build (the house) to encourage someone else that they can do it (too).”

Pouge, who works as a barber, said he had to take time from work to help with the build. He joins the Habitat team every Saturday.

“I take time to build something I can be proud of,” he said. Habitat is “a great program and has encouraged me to do more in the community.”

Alfred Jackson, pastor of Tabernacle of Praise in York, has known Pouge for years.

“He came to the church as a teenager,” Jackson said. “Both his parents had passed away and he has been like a son to me.”

Jackson said he is proud of what Pouge has accomplished.

“It means a lot to see him own his own home,” he said. “He is a single, young man with a direction. I am excited to be a part of this.”

Veeck said Habitat hopes to repeat Clergy Day and build two homes next year.

“The goal is to build collaboration and awareness for Habitat and the need for affordable housing,” he said. Anyone can help out – “no matter what they believe.”

Churches that participated in this Faith Build were: Unity Presbyterian, Doby’s Bridge Presbyterian, St. John’s UMC Rock Hill, Philadelphia UMC, Grace Lutheran, First ARP Rock Hill, First Baptist Rock Hill, Bethesda Presbyterian, Faith Presbyterian, Woodlawn Presbyterian, St. John’s Baptist and Bowling Green Presbyterian.