Helping hands restore historic Chico church

The community of Chico has come together to restore the Bethel AME Church. The historic structure was built in 1867

Posted: Jul 12, 2020 11:01 AM

CHICO, Calif. - Community members in Chico are coming together to help restore a historic church.

The Bethel AME Church on Linden Street is one of the oldest buildings in town. It was built in 1867.

A few weeks ago there was some vandalism at the church, and several people in Chico decided to come together and raise money to repair the damage. The fundraising escalated quickly, and soon more than $40,000 was raised.

This infusion of donations inspired church leaders and community members to work together in order to restore the building back to its original glory.

Community member Dan Herbert said, "Four to six weeks ago several of us thought it would be positive to assist the African American church to rebuild their long lost steeple -- that was lost back in the 50s." Herbert was one of the community members who was volunteering on Saturday.

Bethel AME's Reverend Loretta Dickerson said, "I want to say thank you to those who have stopped by, donated." She said she is ecstatic about people participating in this project that she believes will have long-lasting impacts.

Ray Watson testified about how the Bethel AME Church helped feed him as a child, with hominy and sausage, on the say to school each day. That ensured he arrived at school with a full belly. "I grew up across the street," Watson said. "My brother and our friends, we would walk to this church and they would serve us breakfast. They made a big impact on my life."

"When I heard this restoration was going to happen, I wanted to volunteer," he said, "after what the church did for me when I was a kid."

The plans include restoring the bell tower. The construction should take from four to six months. Until then, the members of the church will be meeting virtually.

The new goal is to raise $100,000 in order to complete all the repairs and reconstruction. Donations are being accepted through the North Valley Community Foundation.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3577966

Reported Deaths: 52798
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles119433321569
Riverside2903253829
San Bernardino2868142952
Orange2616083952
San Diego2610013317
Santa Clara1109111797
Kern103622902
Fresno956771451
Sacramento936781488
Alameda808731244
Ventura77849858
San Joaquin670401140
Contra Costa62818681
Stanislaus56323950
Tulare48086766
Monterey42316329
San Mateo39096521
San Francisco34318422
Santa Barbara32087416
Solano30163164
Merced29195405
Sonoma28222298
Imperial26913638
Kings22091220
Placer19882232
San Luis Obispo19724236
Madera15505214
Santa Cruz14700183
Marin13261197
Yolo12854185
Shasta11045179
Butte10981167
El Dorado9168100
Napa905671
Sutter888698
San Benito577261
Yuba577137
Lassen562319
Tehama510452
Nevada397974
Tuolumne396359
Mendocino382143
Amador346941
Humboldt321933
Lake316441
Glenn223223
Colusa213913
Calaveras191149
Siskiyou177914
Inyo131737
Mono12144
Del Norte10075
Plumas6536
Modoc4594
Mariposa3957
Trinity3725
Sierra1000
Alpine820
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 35°
Oroville
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 44°
Chico
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 35°
Red Bluff
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 16°
Feels Like: 35°
Red Bluff
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 35°
Chico
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 35°
We've had beautiful weather over northern California today and it will continue through Wednesday before changes begin. Those changes will first involve cooler air and stronger wind, with rain and snow chances following.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events