Thank you for the opportunity to appear before this Senate Committee to express sincere thanks on behalf of the Greater Mount Zion Tabernacle Church of God in Christ located at 3100 Deep Creek Boulevard in Portsmouth, Virginia. It is because of you that our Church is being rebuilt,
At a time when there was no hope, the National Council of Church of Christ in the USA. Housing of Urban Development, the Center for Democratic Renewal, hundreds of volunteers and NationsBank by the grace of God made the Miracle on Deep Creek Boulevard a reality.
The processing of the HUD loan which began on in January 1997 was completed with the closing of the loan on July 3, 1997. NationsBank's underwriters approved the loan on March 14, 1997. The process took longer than projected. Once again, the full support and guidance, of Tony Johnston made a difference. We learned from this process and hope that our experience will enable others who are being considered to move through the process more rapidly.
We do hope that consideration will be giving to a plan for fully funding the church rebuilding process whereby churches that did not have mortgages will not suddenly- be in a position to have to repay a loan.
We also pray that each instance of arson will be fully investigated until the arsonist is found,
We recommend that in cases such as that of Greater Mount Zion where the church still does not appear on the burned church list because the Portsmouth Fire Department reports only names to the ATF and does not report specifics to the division of Arson in Richmond where we understand the names are required, that full investigations will occur.
Attached is additional information, which will show the progress of the church *from beginning to now, where we expect that the furniture will be delivered by September 30th, with the dedication service being held on October 4, 1997.
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