Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

A flash flood in 2015 destroyed this bridge, making it nearly impossible for 13 Pigeon Creek families to get access to food and medical care.

Adventist Community Services in Mountain View Conference Donates to Bridge Project

Story by Valerie Morikone

You cannot watch today’s news for more than a few minutes before coming to the conclusion that we, as human beings, do not show much love for each other. Not only here in the U.S., but around the world we see turmoil and strife on a very grand scale,” says Larry Murphy, pastor of the Weirton and Wheeling (W.Va.) churches, and Adventist Community Services (ACS) director for the Mountain View Conference.

“The Bible says that God always has people who are willing to come to the rescue, to help those who have lost everything ... or can potentially lose everything, including their lives,” he continues.

He speaks from experience. During a flash flood in 2015, a bridge that connects Delbarton, W.Va., with a small community across the Pigeon Creek sustained significant damage. The bridge continued to deteriorate over the months that followed.

For two years, thirty-five people crossed the creek on ATV’s, 4x4 trucks or on foot, to get groceries, go to school, work or receive medical attention. Murphy says, “Anything necessary had to be done the hard way because their bridge was unfit for use,” shares Murphy. “Several people moved because the hardship was too difficult for them.”

ACS is a member of West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD), a large group comprised of charitable and faith-based organizations. Consequently, ACS became part of the effort to help the Pigeon Creek families.

After two years of hard work, dedication and financial support, ACS, in partnership with Mennonite Disaster Services and Neighbors Loving Neighbors, constructed and dedicated the Elmer Brown Bridge. This 90-foot span gives the Pigeon Creek community full access to the food and medical care they need. 

“God has people who are reaching out to help the folks of West Virginia rebuild their lives and communities. ACS in the Mountain View Conference is proud to be a part of WV VOAD, answering God’s call to help the people in need, including the building of the Elmer Brown Bridge for the Pigeon Creek community,” concludes Murphy.

In 2017 with the help of Adventist Community Services, volunteers constructed a 90-foot bridge, giving full access to and from the Pigeon Creek neighborhood.

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