Highway work may force church to relocate

MANILA, AR (KAIT)- A church in Manila might have a new address by the end of the year. The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department will be taking some of the church's land to use in the highway expansion plan on Hwy 18.

The Harvest Fellowship Church of God has been in Manila on Hwy 18 for three years.
"That would affect us tremendously and as you can see the front of the church is very close already and then we have a ditch out front that takes up part of the parking,"said Pastor Linda Brewer.
Brewer said the church has been holding off on making any improvements because their future is unclear.
"We are not sure how much property they plan to take," she said."We have the easement flags up but we haven't been contacted. If they come into our property were afraid that we won't have enough parking."
Walter McMillan, district engineer for the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, said the state highway department will be taking land from the church to use in the expansion. He said the highway department has started the appraisal process and are looking at relocation options.
"We are concerned and if it does come to us moving all of our people are willing to do what we need to do to stay together and be the church that God intends us to be," Brewer said.
She says the church has come a long way.
"We've grown in the last three years, in fact Sunday we had 90 and we had started out with nobody," Brewer said.
She said she is hopeful because she knows everything happens for a reason.
"God just put us here and we've been here for the past 3 years and it's been a blessing," she said.
McMillan was unable to tell share just how much land the highway department will need but he did mention relocation was on the table. He said the church will be contacted next week with more information.

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