Background: CommUNITY Church is currently pursuing the property at 901 Russell Drive in Salem Virginia as a permanent location for a church building. We are asking the City of Salem to rezone the property for this purpose. We would like signatures on this petition to show the City of Salem Virginia that both the Salem and Roanoke residents support CommUNITY Church in this decision. Our mission, which was adopted July 10, 2005, is to demonstrate the love of Christ in specific ways, so that every person we meet will know they are important, loved and wanted in Jesus' name. And to become a part of the Greatest Network of Caring People our world has ever known! It is our hope to be a resource to Salem/Roanoke residents in connecting and growing in their spiritual walk with God. We are a happy and loving, Bible believing church, which is the evidence of our salvation. Petition: We, the undersigned, support CommUNITY Church and their application for rezoning the property at 901 Russell Drive, Salem, VA. We understand that CommUNITY Church is considered a religious, non-profit organization and acknowledge that the City of Salem, in Virginia, would encounter tax revenue loss on this property. We also acknowledge that CommUNITY Church would bring a greater value to the citizens of Salem and surrounding areas. We ask that the City of Salem Council vote favorably for this rezoning and for all needed permits to allow CommUNITY Church to operate at this location. Please see the below letter to the Planning Commission: Dear Judy Hough, Executive Secretary CAP: Please allow this letter to serve as a request to rezone 901 Russell Drive and the adjacent lots, to allow and accommodate institutional (religious assembly) use. Upon approval, this property would be utilized to house CommUNITY Church, a non-profit organization that presently boasts a membership of 275 with a varied demographic consisting of doctors, nurses, contractors, realtors, appraisers, electricians, business owners, journalists, educators, architects and much more, most city of Salem residents. From this location, CommUNITY Church will be involved and invest in the following: • Worship services on Sundays from 10-12 and 6-8 PM and Wednesdays from 6-8PM. • Food Pantry collection point, as an extension of the Salem Food Pantry (Jenny McCormick) • Clothing collection point, as an extension of the Salem Clothing Closet. • Salem Jail Ministry collection point, as an extension of the Roanoke County Jail Ministry (Chaplain Dan Netting) • Roanoke Valley Baptist Association ministry/mission support in cooperation with these Salem Baptist Churches: Bethel Baptist Church, West Salem Baptist Church, Faith Baptist Church, Fellowship Community Church, Fort Lewis Baptist Church, Mountain Pass Baptist Church, Salem Baptist Church, and Tabernacle Baptist Church. (Dr. Robert Hetherington, www.rvba.org, www.sbc.net, www.sbcv.org.) • Support the Children Feeding Children Ministry (Alex Sosa) • Provide senior citizens ministries which will assist with prescription medication, transportation, employment, financial counseling and health seminars that include free monthly screenings. • Provide community youth activities, community service opportunities (that include court ordered) and entertainment. • Support handy man ministries that construct handicap service ramps, replace roofs, repair plumbing, and provide automotive work, all free of charge for labor and in most cases supplies to our community. • Provide office space for pastoral counseling at no cost to the community. (Tom McCracken, ThM) • Provide office and storage space for the Military Family Support Center (Roger Talmadge/www.milfamily.org • Provide support and services to our local firefighters, police, teachers and other community heroes, through donations and yearly “thank you” banquets. • Connect the local community with employment through businesses owned by our members (Claytons Automotive-Salem, Helping Hands-Salem, Main Frame Construction-Salem, etc) and through our resources. • Support the Baptist Children’s Home through financial contributions, volunteers and staff. • Provide visitation, outreach, gifts, supplies, entertainment, and counseling to all Salem retirement centers, hospitals and the VA Medical Center. CommUNITY Church will also provide employment through janitorial services, staff, construction and consultation. We will also be paying for utilities, internet service, cable TV and telephone, all of which have been absent for the past two years as this building has stood vacant. While this letter is certainly not exhaustive, that will come later as a presentation is made, this should provide the planning team and council with a general idea of the services offered and economic impact that CommUNITY Church will have on the City of Salem.