If you travel 12 miles south of Henderson in Rusk County, you will hit the quaint community of Laneville. Churches line the main road in town but there’s one that’s been there since the 1800’s.

It has since been abandoned and the trustees are now wanting to restore it.

“It’s been here 143 years, and I don’t think Christ left that for nothing,” says trustee Josette Bradbury.

It is with that spirit that Bradbury decided to help restore Redlands Church, which was founded in 1873.

“It was established like a Union church; the Methodists and the Baptists shared it,” she says. “One week the Baptists were here, the next week the Methodists.”

Once both congregations established their own churches in 1963, Redlands Church was sold.

It is empty and throughout the years the condition has been deteriorating.

“We met last month, and the next, within two days after we met, the electricity was in by an anonymous donor,” says Bradbury.

But they still have a long way to go.

“We’re about to install a bathroom, and we’ve got to underpin it, and that’s going to be a big project, and check the roof for leaks and maybe repair the roof,” she says.

They are also keeping whatever they can from the original construction.  They plan to preserve the floors that date back to 1873.

The goal is to create a meeting place for the community.

“Children can come in the afternoon and help them with their schoolwork,” says Bradbury. “Also, set up English speaking, people can come learn how to speak English because we’ve got a lot of Hispanics coming and I would like to incorporate them into the community.”

They need volunteers and donations to see the project through.

“We’re relying on faith, and i have all the faith in the world that this building is going to be beautiful in a couple of years,” she says.

If you’d like to help, send donations here:

Redlands Church                                                                                                                                                                       c/o Ginger Shorter                                                                                                                                                                       10866 CR 4232 W                                                                                                                                                                     Cushing, TX 75760