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Long Time Coming

Parking lot at Aledo United Methodist Church completed


Since 1878 Aledo United Methodist Church has opened its doors open to the community, giving people a safe place to go. The church has grown immensely over the years. This April, Don C. Little, President of Ambassador Homes Inc., began the process of constructing the expansion of the parking lot that has been in the works for 10 years.

“They put it out for bids, and I’m a home builder and so I bid on it,” Little said. “I gave them a very nice bid because I’m a member of the church.”

Since April, the company has paved the whole lot and recently finished. One thing Little had to contemplate was the excessive amounts of rainwater filling the parking lot. 

“What we managed to do is we hauled off 220 loads of dirt dropped in this area,” Little said. “Had we not done so, when it had rained all the water would be running between the original lot  and the church between the loads of dirt.” 

Pastor Joel Robbins is very excited about the expanding parking lot. 

“The food pantry that’s growing, the clothes closet down the street that our church actually kicked off and started, AdvoCats was started in our church,” Robbins said. “So many of the things that happened in the community as it grows are exciting to me because they’re positive and supporting people unconditionally.” 

The parking lot was a long time in coming. When the church originally built its new sanctuary about 20 years ago, Pecan Street went right through what is now the parking lot. To make room for the expansion, the church bought the adjoining property and had Pecan Street re-routed to its current location. The parking lot has been unpaved since then.

“The parking lot for me it doesn’t just mean progress — it means growth,” Robbins said. “Not necessarily to the numerical factor but the factor of welcoming people. It’s incredibly important that we do that.” 

The church has been wanting to do this but finances had been a concern. 

“The church wanted to do it for years and the leadership took some steps to make financial possibilities end up being realities,” Robbins said. “The church has great leadership and I’m very grateful for that.”

Robbins moved to Aledo in July 2020. Since then, he has been the pastor of this church and met church member Charlie McLain. McLain was a long-time member and supporter of the church’s ministries who passed away in October of last year. 

“Charlie left part of his estate for the ministry of children and youth,” Robbins said. “That’s how strongly he felt, in fact, it’s all he talked about.” 

McLain moved to Annetta in 1959 and gave back to the community in many different ways. 

“Charlie helped raise people's children, he had dances in his barn to keep kids out of trouble on Saturday night in the 70s and 80s,” Robbins said. “We had a Charlie McLain activity center and that's where our children would go.” 

Robbins said McLain would sit on his walker and watch the kids play on Sunday night at church. He also said McLain would be happy and excited to see the parking lot get paved. 

People travel down that road to see relatives, people traveled down that road during times of war,” Robbins said. “All sorts of things held that road as a narrative and it was time for a new narrative.

Madison Scott is an incoming senior at Aledo High School who just completed a summer internship at The Community News.


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