3 Bedroom Houses For Rent In Hickory Nc – For 142 years, Mt. Pisgah AME Church in Hickory has cultivated a sense of family and community with everyone who’s walked through its doors. Recently, the church found a new way of welcoming young members with the dedication of the Bexton House.
The church renovated the parsonage, built in 1927, into a four bedroom, two and a half bath home for college students who are transitioning into their adult life. The work on the house was completed in 10 weeks allowing the students to move into the home in August.
“We have a theme this year for the church, that we’re stronger together,” said the Rev. Kim Moss, who is the Mt. Pisgah AME pastor. “If nothing else has proven that, this project has.”
The idea for repurposing the parsonage started last summer from a conversation between Emil Tansinda and Moss, who also is an adjunct professor at Lenoir-Rhyne University (LRU).
Tansinda, a junior at the university, is from Manchester in the United Kingdom. He enrolled at LRU to pursue a degree in multimedia communication and to play soccer. Before the start of classes this year, he found out there was no available housing on campus.
“(Emil) wanted to know if somebody in the church would rent him a room, and at the same time this house had become vacant,” Moss said.
For Tansinda, the Bexton House was the perfect place to call home. He started going to Mt. Pisgah in his sophomore year, and it was then he realized he’d found a safe harbor and a community he could be part of as member of the church.
“To have someone as reliable as (Rev. Moss) is massive,” Tansinda said. “To be so far away from home and to have someone like her and Ms. Rose, Uncle Louie, Uncle Milton and Jerry, it’s huge. They’re like family to me.”
Along with Tansinda, the other students living in the house all go to LRU as well: Lamiya Bennett, Ghia Smith and Ignacio Goya.
Smith, of Shelby, wasn’t sure where she was going to live during her final undergraduate semester at LRU.
“I had been looking at apartments, and I clearly was not equipped to get one of those,” Smith said. “The ones closer to the school were like seven hundred dollars for just a studio.”
She was a resident assistant (RA) at the university but couldn’t balance working, being an RA and having a full class schedule.
Bennett, of Charlotte, was in a similar situation. She recently earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Biology at LRU and had begun work on her master’s degree at the school. During the summer, she searched for a place to live but found area apartments too expensive for her budget.
“To me this has been a big blessing because I didn’t know where I was going to be at the end of the summer,” Bennett said. “Now it feels good to have independence.”
Goya enrolled in LRU’s Master of Business Administration program and plays soccer. He was living in the home of another teammate at first, but when Tansinda told him about the Bexton House, he was eager to check it out.
“When I came here, they gave you a bed, all the furniture. They made everything so easy,” Goya said. “It was easy getting to know my roommates, and I had the opportunity to see what the church is like here. Everyone is very connected and they take good care of us. It was amazing.”
Moss and the church leadership made sure the students were willing to adhere to some very specific rules about behavior and responsibilities before moving into the home.
“This is a transition home where they’re going to learn how to be an adult,” Moss said. “They have to pay bills. They have to pay rent. They have to cut the grass. They have to take the trash out. They have to buy their own groceries.”
Leases are for one year at a time, but the students will stay in the house until they are ready to leave. There is no timeline attached to their stay.
“If they’re not ready to go out on their own, I told them we’ll have monthly meetings with them where we’ll talk about thinks like how to set up a budget,” Moss said.
In memory of Bexton
The church decided to dedicate and name the home in honor of the Rev. A.O. Carmichael’s son, Bexton, who was killed in a car accident in the spring. Bexton grew up in the parsonage and was an educator.
The church members who headed up the work at the home included: Milton Johnson, Janice Johnson, Rose Burrell, Louie Burrell and Jerry Robbs. The job included painting all of the interior and exterior of the home, adding an extra bedroom and bathroom, creating a pantry, installing outlets and various repairs to the floors and ceiling.
Rose Burrell said once the church made the decision to take this path it became important to everyone to get the renovation done in time for the students. Her family already knew Tansinda from inviting him to dinner on Easter.
“He’d never dyed Easter eggs and my grandkids love him. They call him their cousin,” Burrell said. “For him to call and ask if he could have a place to stay, it really hit us, all of us.”
Louie Burrell saw the challenge of renovating the house as a mission of faith.
“We had some doubting the time frame, but I told myself, I was going to do everything I can non-stop to help make this come true, and we did it,” he said. “Everybody participated and we did it.”
Milton Johnson acted as the contractor of the project, planning the repairs and build outs for the new bedroom and bathroom. He admitted it was daunting but once things started nobody even thought of slowing down until they completed the work.
“Every day Louie painted. Every day we cleaned up. Every night he came, so really somebody was in here 24 hours for the first eight weeks of the project,” Moss said.