Small church in danger of slipping over hillside

MARTIN COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- A small church that has been sitting on a hill in Martin County, Kentucky for more than 20 years is now teetering on the edge.

The hillside that the Calf Creek Homecoming Church sits on is giving way.

Betty Harris and her husband Elmer built the church in May of 1998. Her husband passed away in 2015, and Betty says it's the last thing the two of them shared that she has to hold onto.

"At the time when we built it, it was just a small little sanctuary," said Betty Harris. "But my husband passed away in 2015 and this is all I had left of him that we did together. I wanted to keep it alive and keep the doors open for what it was intended to be."

Harris says years ago, a drain pipe was put in near the church and it is now broken. Water is now leaking from the pipe and is seeping into the soil, which she says is causing the hillside to slip.

"Since yesterday, it's dropped another two or three feet," Harris said.

Harris says she has contacted the county to see if they will help stabilize the hillside. She also says she has hired a lawyer to see if any legal steps can be taken to get it fixed.

"To me, I wouldn't give it for all the big, big churches," she said. "Give me my little old country church. And I'm sure there's a lot of people in this world that would rather do that. But it's my life and it's my comforter. It's all in all to me. And to see it go like this, I don't know if I can bear it."

Harris says the congregation has been attending other churches since November since it isn't safe to have service inside the church.

"On Sunday mornings when I would come, especially after my husband died, I would just come in and it would be such a sweet, sweet spirit," Harris said. "It would comfort me and it would help me make it through. And I don't have that now."

Harris is now worried with rain in the forecast that more of the hillside will slip and that the church will go with it before help comes.

"If it does go over the hillside, I'm sure we will pick up the pieces and God will help us carry on," she said.

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