Local church starts to rebuild

The front lawn of Innovation Baptist Church, located on the corner of Ausley Road and Jackson Bluff Road in Tallahassee is outlined by yellow tape.

The roof, which collapsed inside the building, is no longer there.

Looking through the front door, the inside of the church is grey and black. Equipment and toys from the church’s school are piled up outside the door.

A fire destroyed much of Innovation Baptist Church and its subsidiary school the Innovation School of Excellence on Sept.5.

It took three hours for the Tallahassee Fire Department to extinguish the fire.

Although the church was created in the 1950’s Leon county documents state Innovation Baptist Church bought the building from Seminole Baptist Church in 1994.

The Innovation School consisted of 400 children and the church’s congregation has 500 members.

Some members of the Tallahassee community are reaching out to help rebuild the local church.

There will be a carnival on Florida A&M University’s Intramural field on Oct. 8 for the church.

The money from this community-wide event, which occurs from noon to 6 p.m., benefits the Innovation School of Excellence.

The idea for the carnival came from the devastation of the students caused by the destruction of the school.

Rosalind Robinson’s child went to the school and Robinson said she decided to create the carnival after watching her daughter cry.

“We were there when the church was burning and she was crying,” Robinson said.

“Then when she saw it in the newspaper, she cried again.”

The theme of the carnival is “The Best is Yet to Come.”

It is a community-wide event featuring rides, vendors and food.

All money raised at the carnival will be used to help rebuild the school. Attendees can bring items for the school such as school and baby materials.

Organizations slated to help the cause are the Gamma Sigma Sigma Service Sorority, Inc., Party Central Plus, Inc. and Ray’s Odd Jobs.

“It will be a day for the community to support the school,” Robinson said.

Sheldon Bruce has decided to help out with the carnival. Bruce, the owner of Party Central Plus, Inc. will donate his supplies for the carnival.

He stands to lose about $800, but Bruce said it is for a good cause. He estimated the carnival could make about $2000.

“Anything more (than $2000) would be better,” Bruce said.

Bruce plans to contribute cotton candy, popcorn and snow cone machines.

There will also be obstacle courses, moonwalk and other carnival games.

Bruce did a carnival for the affected school earlier this year, so when Robinson called him about the benefit carnival, he was glad to help.

“I like to help out when I can,” Bruce said.

Courtney Smoot, 24, decided to get involved after a phone call from Robinson.

Smoot, market coordinator of Campus Recreation, received a call from Robinson about using the intramural field for the carnival. The senior business administration student from St. Louis is a member of the Gamma Alpha Chapter of the Gamma Sigma Sigma National Service Sorority Inc.

Smoot said she convinced the sorority to help with the carnival.

“We will man the booths, giving out tickets and working the donation center,” Smoot said.

The sorority is the only organization on campus to help with the carnival. Gamma Sigma Sigma was formed in 1952, according to the sorority’s website.

Contact Emanuel Nicholson at famuannews@hotmail.com