MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Memphis pastor is fighting blight, buying up dozens of properties with the help of his church and nonprofit.
Now, hard work and TLC are taking them from abandoned properties to bright spots in the community.
In the heart of south Memphis, a revival is brewing – not inside of this church, but outside on the neighboring streets.
Pastor Roger Brown of the Greater White Stone Missionary Baptist Church says they're bringing back this community riddled by blight.
"The goal was to rid the community of the blight that was there," Brown said. "The overgrown lawns that was there. So we purchased a building as well as an apartment complex which we refurbished completely."
So far his church has purchased a total of 30 properties, including the blighted apartment complex and a multi-unit building near Wellington and Williams.
These empty lots and broken down buildings will be renovated by their non-profit " The Stone" and will be used as recreation areas, housing, and future job resource centers.
"So when we talk about crime in this community, juvenile crime – we haven't replaced some of the things taken away from them to be able to have wholesome activities," Brown said.
He says they were able to make this dream a reality through donations and volunteerism by businesses like Service Master and FedEx.
His plan is to take back this area one clean up at a time.
"We believe that the church can do this," Brown said. "So we believe it we can take one block at a time, we can change this community."
Service Master will be out on March 31 to do a beautification project on some of the properties.
To find out how your group can volunteer to clean up or donate, call (901) 774-3564 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.