By Gregg Stone
On August 24 at 3:20 in the morning, a 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck Napa, California. Bro. Timothy Bledsoe and his wife, Becky, were awakened by the sound and feel of their house, the parsonage next to the church (New Life Tabernacle), being shaken from stem to stern. “In the chaos of the moment I heard what I thought was a busted water main,” said Bro. Bledsoe, “but quickly realized the high-pressure side of the gas main was sheared off and blowing gas under the house. Immediately we abandoned the house and ran to the other side of the street.”
It wasn’t until daylight that Bro. Bledsoe realized the house had fallen off its piers. “We are so thankful for God’s protection,” said Bro. Bledsoe. “It could have been much worse. The house remains pitched off to its side waiting for us to decide if it’s cost effective to lift the house and build a new foundation, or to simply raze the old house. Both options will potentially cost our church several thousands of dollars, rebuilding being the most costly option. My family and I are currently staying in the church evangelist quarters, while our belongings are being stored in the church annex, pending our ability to obtain permanent housing.”
The sanctuary of New Life Tabernacle suffered minor damage. “There was a broken water pipe, resulting in the loss of the carpet in the nursery,” said Bro. Bledsoe, “and glass globes were broken in the sanctuary lighting. Musical instruments, a projector and podiums were thrown around and broken, but overall we have survived. Thank you, Jesus!”
Because Napa sits on a fault line, insurance does not cover any of the damages and any work performed has to be paid for by the church. “We are in the process of taking bids to put the house on a new foundation,” explains Bro. Bledsoe, “but it will also have to be rotated as it moved three feet to the side, one foot forward, and twisted all at the same time. Bids are coming in from $30,000 to $45,000. The house also needs a new kitchen and a new roof and the outside of the house needs to be painted.”
Due to the estimated cost of repair and restoration, Bro. and Sis. Bledsoe, their family and their congregation could use not only your prayers but your support as well. Anyone wishing to help with the restoration process and to help New Life Tabernacle get back on their feet again can make donations to New Life Tabernacle, P.O. Box 10428, Napa, CA 94581.