OILDALE, Calif. - An Oildale church in jeopardy of shutting its doors is holding a series of car washes to raise funds to keep going.
The Oildale Outreach Church on Roberts Lane, just south of Olive Drive ministers to the destitute, but the destitute are giving back.
"We are just trying to save our church, our home," said Geneva Contreras, church member.
The church opened in Feb and its mission is to reach those who may not be accepted in a traditional church setting.
"We have people that as of one year ago were living under a bridge on North Chester and now they are reunited with their children and living in apartments," said Steve Allbritton, pastor of Oildale Outreach Church.
Volunteers are washing cars to help keep the church doors open.
"I'm doing this so our church can receive donations and help pay the rent and keep the PG&E on," said Toni Lynch, church member.
Many volunteers said the church is a lighthouse in a community surrounded by drug addiction and homelessness.
"If this church was to shut down, I don't know what people would do for help and guidance in this area. Yes, we are poor, but I know this ministry helps me to keep my life on track," said Raymond Lynch, church member.
The church's pastor said they are not in dire financial straits because of mismanaged funds, but because of who they minister to.
"Everybody that comes here is low income; many of us are on a fixed income. We give what we can, but it's not enough to keep the bills paid," said Toni Lynch.
The church has been having a difficult time in recent months due to dwindling donations, known as tithes. Those funds are used to help pay the rent and utility bills that are about $1,400 per month.
"We don't see a lot of tithing or gifting coming in, but we tend to see a lot of ministering going out," said Allbritton.
The pastor said he knows God will provide for their needs, but they are washing cars to be responsible and pay their bills.
The church is at 1340 Roberts Lane # R. For more information about Oildale Outreach visit awakentogod.net