Church to become new home
Published 4:43 am Saturday, December 22, 2001
By By ROBBIE BYRD
In 1994, when Melvin Dortch was featured on the front page of the Atmore Advance, he looked almost bewildered.
That's because Melvin and his newlywed, Jacqueline had just taken in 8 children.
Seven years have past and Melvin still has that bewildered look upon his face.
Maybe that's because for the last seven years, Melvin and Jacqueline have been juggling the chores of raising not 8, but now 9 children.
Of course, in seven years, children do a lot of growing. But Melvin and Jacqueline's house hasn't.
So Liberty Baptist Church decided to step in and lend these guardians a helping hand.
The Liberty Baptist Church Sanctuary, located next to Winn-Dixie, is being donated to the Dortch family and will hopefully become a new addition to their current home.
It's a definite improvement from the house that Melvin, Jacqueline, Rodney, Robert, Nicholas, Monek, Lenada, Alexis, Shemesha and Wysteria started out in.
With the help of community donations, the Dortch family was able to finance their current house. They're still paying the mortgage, but have found that as the children have grown, so have their space requirements.
The church has agreed to donate the building, but the costs of moving the house have prohibited the project from moving ahead.
Caroline Morris, who's is spearheading the project for Liberty Baptist Church, says that the moving could cost up to $8,000.
Dortch said that the sanctuary could provide much needed bedroom and bathroom space.
The Dortch's say they are proud of what has been done to help them, but are even prouder of what they've accomplished on their own.
But on a much grander scale. With eleven people in a household, it's hard to get ahead, Dortch said, especially with tons of bills plus an average $500 to $600 grocery tab each month.
Dortch says that he appreciates the help that he and his family have received over the years, but says that he is even prouder that he has never had to beg.
The Liberty Baptist Church is making plans to setup a fund through United Bank for the Dortch family. If you would like to make a contribution for having the sanctuary moved and remodeled, please contact Caroline Morris at 446-8687.