PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - A free house offer fell through for a Pascagoula church. Last month, WLOX reported that Oasis Church wanted to find a good home for an old house. Leaders posted the house on social media and Craigslist. The post went viral, but there were no takers. So this week, the house came crashing down.
The newly-remodeled, 1,800-square-foot house is now a pile of rubble.
"So it was a bit bittersweet, the fact that the house has got to come down," said Lead Pastor Eric Camp.
Leaders of Oasis Church on Pascagoula Street had so much hope when they offered to give away the house to the first person who could pay to move it off the church property. But those plans hit a snag.
"We got over 1,000 phone calls and responses to our administrative office, but no one was actually able to afford the moving expense. We thought it would be a great gift for somebody, but then again, $30,000-$40,000, I understand that's a lot of money to move the house. We were at a place where the house had to go," said Camp.
When church leaders decided two weeks ago to go ahead and demolish the house, they ran into another roadblock. They learned that the house was in a historic district, so church leaders had to get permission from the city's Historic Preservation Commission to tear down the structure.
"All of that was very educational for us and somewhat frustrating. There was a lot of red tape to jump through. Forty minutes later, we were demoing the house once that permit was issued," said Camp.
Church member Jim Thomas was hired to do the demolition.
"I was real anxious to get it done. It's just the fact being we're on it now and we are getting it done, so I'm glad to see it go," said Thomas.
All the debris should be hauled away by Friday. The church will immediately start work on adding 40-parking spaces for its growing congregation.
"The fact that this house went national was really amazing, because it hit national news markets and we were really blown away by that. Here we are. The house is gone and so we move forward," said Camp.
Church leaders said they were able to salvage the doors, windows and copper wiring, and sell the cabinets and heating and air conditioning units. They also gave away many items inside the house.