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One Church, One Story

Wednesday's service at I Am My Brother's Keeper Ministry, a church in Detroit, opened with a simple “Hallelujah,” from the pastor, Henry Covington. The service drew several boldface names – Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, the singer Anita Baker, and author Mitch Albom – to celebrate a success story.

A portion of the sales from Albom's latest book, “Have a Little Faith: A True Story,” have been donated to repair a gaping hole in I am My Brother's Keeper's roof. During the ceremony, Albom shared the story of a time when the church, which also serves as a homeless shelter, had its gas shut off; heat essentially passed through the hole in the roof. So the church had a $37,000 bill. A makeshift tent was built out of plastic sheets and two-by-fours within the church, and congregants huddled in, unwilling to give up on their sanctuary. Albom wrote about the ordeal first in the Detroit Free Press, and then in his book. He promised that somehow, the roof would be repaired.

Construction to mend the roof began on Nov. 23, and ended Dec. 9. Now, a plaque hangs on the church's ceiling where the hole used to be, bearing the names of people – from Detroit to Hong Kong -- who sent around $70,000 in donations for the repairs.

“This is one church and one story,” Mayor Bing explained during the ceremony. “And together, we are going to do a lot of things like this to bring this city back.”

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