KENOSHA — The businesses along a strip on 61st and 22nd street in Kenosha were destroyed in fires during nights of civil unrest. The only part of the strip that remained untouched by flames is Kingdom Word Ministries. David Montgomery is the Pastor of the church and he said, he believes his building was spared for a reason.
"We have to look at the fire as an opportunity to now look at what’s about to come," said Pastor Montgomery.
In Uptown, Pastor Montgomery found a way to uplift and serve others. The church is now the center for food distribution in the community, and business and locals have been dropping off large donations of food.
"We have simply said 'hey' to the community, 'Kenosha has not forgotten you. People surrounding Kenosha have not forgotten you,'" said Pastor Montgomery.
On Friday afternoon, the church gave away bags of groceries and toiletries to those in need, and for many locals, it was a relief.
"I’m so blessed that everybody is out here trying to make everybody feel comfortable," said Kenosha resident Linda Moore.
The main grocery store in Uptown closed years ago, and the mini markets were destroyed in the civil unrest, leaving people like Leslie Daniels and her son without any close by options to purchase groceries.
"It breaks my heart because Uptown used to be me and my son's spot," said Leslie.
Despite the destruction, she said her heart is still optimistic.
"Seeing the community as they are now, it’s how it’s supposed to be, altogether," said Leslie.
Through the devastation and ashes, Pastor Montgomery believes the area will rise up and come out stronger than before.
"We are looking to our heart for what is our destiny going to look like, and we think our destiny is going to look very well," said Pastor Montgomery.
Pastor Montgomery said this cannot be a feel-good story for just a week. He said the Uptown area needs community partner and resources that plan to stay in the area for a lifetime.