Center raising funds for new roof

By Jaymie Baxley

July 29, 2014

LUMBERTON — After almost 50 years of helping others, the Robeson County Church and Community Center needs a hand.

The nonprofit is trying to raise money to replace the dilapidated roof of its building at East Fifth Street in Lumberton.

“We’re beyond the point of repair,” said Greg Maynor, the center’s assistant executive director. “The damage is pretty extensive.”

According to Maynor, portions of the 750-square-foot roof have started to settle and more than 130 four-foot ceiling panels have been stained by water damage. A dozen buckets have been scattered throughout the facility to catch drops of water from the leaking tiles.

“It’s difficult to keep the water out,” Maynor said. “When you stop one leak, you potentially create another by stepping on screws which pop out and create places for mold to accumulate. We’ve had to strategically move people around so they don’t have to deal with water dripping on them. It’s been tough, but we’ve managed to work around it.”

Established in 1969, the center provides a range of services for needy people in Robson County. In 2007, the organization moved from its former home on East 15th Street to its current location, which previously housed a Ford dealership.

The facility was built in 1957.

Darlene Jacobs, the center’s executive director, is currently reviewing bids from contractors to replace the roof. She initially estimated that the project would cost between $3,500 “for a quick fix” and $29,000 for a total replacement, but that figure has since jumped to $70,000 — money her organization doesn’t have.

Jacobs asked Robeson County commissioners for assistance during their meeting on July 7. The commissioners expressed interest in earmarking funds for the project, but have yet to commit to making a donation.

“I think we ought to open our hearts and help them,” Commissioner Jerry Stephens said at that meeting.

Jacobs plans to approach Lumberton City Council about making a donation during its regular meeting on Aug. 11.

“Whatever the city and county can do will be blessing to us,” she said. “We don’t want to jeopardize the well-being of our clients and staff. We’ve got to get some assistance in getting this thing replaced and done right for the center to continue to do the ministry it was designed to do and reach out and help those who are struggling.”

According to Maynor, several members of the community have chipped in to help replace the roof.

“We’ve had a good number of people who have inquired and offered to help. They’ve thrown their support behind us,” he said. “We’re accepting any and all help.”

The Robeson County Church and Community Center is located at 600 W. Fifth St. in Lumberton. For information, call 910-738-5204, or visit