Contractor takes money from church and runs

A contractor is accused of cheating an east side Detroit church.

The state says the company, C.W. Home Improvement, is not a registered business entity.

Meet Ms. Essie Rhymes, secretary and treasurer of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church. She has had little of it, after allegedly being conned by a contractor.

"We can't find him," she said. "I've been calling the number and where he lives on that paper, but we can't find him." 

It all started in October when church members say a drunk driver came racing down Chene Street on Detroit's eastside.

"He hit a parked car," Willie Golson said. "He bounced off the parked car, hit the church then leveled this pole right here."

Essie's grandson Eric referred Corey White of  C.W. Home Improvement to repair the damage.

Essie paid a $4,600 deposit in November, 

"He repaired the corner of this building in order to get his down payment," said Eric Rhymes, church member. "What was done couldn't have been more than a couple hundred dollars." 

After that, they say White left with their money and without finishing the work

And the good saints at Pilgrim Rest have not worshipped there since that motorist turned their church building into a drive through.

"No easter service, no Christmas, her birthday came and went and she has been here over 50 years," Eric said.

And to make matters worse, Essie recently learned she may have cancer.

"I hope he gets it fixed before I die," she said.

The church is taking legal action, suing Corey White for $5,000 and breach of contract.

"There are a lot of predators still on the street," Eric said. "And we have got to get them and make them pay."

FOX 2 went to the address listed in the lawsuit hoping to find the contractor but were told he doesn't live there.

FOX 2 called and texted him but did not get an answer.

The church has a court date set for July 1. If you would like to help the church, a GoFundMe account has been set up. CLICK HERE to offer support.

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