Church has furnace stolen from home being remodeled in Detroit

A Detroit church that is working to fix up a house in the Motor City has suffered a devastating blow after thieves broke in and stole the entire furnace from the home.

Meditation Missionary Baptist Church's assistant pastor, Glenn Hodges, is the project manager for Hope House, which is right across the street from the church on the southwest side. He said church members and block club volunteers have worked countless hours to transform the home, which was once a Detroit Landbank property, into a resource center for youths, veterans, returning citizens, and neighbors.

"We're here for the community," Hodges said. "I think when you see activity, or you see hope, then you will get hope and you will begin to act and we want to just be a part of that."

The process has been a hard one, however. After they got a new roof, a tree fell on Hope House. Then their electrician came down with COVID and there's still plenty of work to be done. But it gets worse.

"Someone broke into the back window - and stole our furnace," Hodges said.

But as Pastor Barry Randolph from Church of the Messiah explains, they can't steal their hope.

"We are people full of perseverance. People of Detroit got heart and they got grit and they get back up. We may fall down but we get back up. It's worth the energy and the effort," Randolph said.

The Church of the Messiah on Detroit's east side has built housing and served as a business incubator to transform the neighborhood and change lives. That's what they want to accomplish at Hope House.

"We're hoping that they get the same results in this neighborhood that we've gotten in Islandview. So it's good to see this project but of course, there are always setbacks and to see what happened here - we just want people to come together so that the building continues," Randolph said.

The church is asking for anyone who is willing to help to do so. You can find more information at