A retired Jewish businessman from Cherry Hill has given away a parcel of land valued at up to a quarter of a million dollars to an Atlantic City church.
James Horowitz, 82, was planning to sell the vacant parcel of land in Egg Harbor Township when he was approached by Pastor Kenneth Applewhite of the City of Hope Worship Outreach Center.
As reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer on Dec. 31, Applewhite called Horowitz in answer to an ad in the Atlantic City Press that said to “name your price” for the plot.
The pastor was looking to relocate his African-American church after a young man was killed in front of the church in the crime-ridden neighborhood, the 15th murder in recent years on the block on which the church is located. He told his story to Horowitz, who responded with the gift.
His decision “was a feel-good type of thing; I wanted to do it, and I did it,” said Horowitz — who had operated a publishing business and a pool business and dipped his hand in real estate. “I think people ought to do that more often.”
Applewhite called Horowitz “a blessing to us. He saw the need. Everybody believes God has given us grace and mercy,” Applewhite said.
The congregation must raise about $300,000 before construction can begin on a church that will be able to hold as many as 200 people. The church holds daily services and events, Bible study, and a food pantry.