McCormick mission uses comedy to help build a new church

McCORMICK — Good Shepherd Mission is well on its way to replacing its 83-year-old church building with some comic relief.
The parish launched a capital campaign in the fall of 2006 and has raised more than $579,000; of which $3,100 came from three comedy shows in three years, according to a press release. Eric Hunter, Al Ernst, Jerry Farber and Jim Gossett, all professional stand-up comedians, drew large audiences of parishioners and community residents. Hunter arranged and performed in all three shows.
“Each show made a valuable contribution to our capital campaign,” said Father Allam Marreddy, administrator. “But one cannot place a value on the amount of joy and laughter the performers brought into our lives, especially this year when there’s been so much discouraging news related to the economy.”
Good Shepherd observed its 45th anniversary with a celebration after Masses May 3. The existing building was a gift from Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Greenwood after it moved to its new site in the mid 1960s. The structure was hoisted onto a trailer and painstakingly towed about 30 miles over back roads to its current spot in McCormick.
Father Marreddy said the new church is being built about 100 feet from the parish center and he expects it will be completed by the end of the year.