BELLVILLE, LEXINGTON — A building many have driven by has probably gone unnoticed by most.
If you look closely, though, you’ll see that much goes on inside a little storefront in the industrial area on the edge of Lexington.
It sits off to the right on Industrial Drive.
It is a place called Joseph Storehouse, a thrift store. The items available — and there are many — have been donated by members of churches devoted to helping others.
The sign on the door that says Joseph Storehouse is so small most people probably notice only that other sign, which says “thrift store.”
This effort was founded in 2012, and is about to go by another name. It will soon become Fusion Thrift Store.
The founding of Joseph Storehouse was done by Jeff Robertson and his wife, Teresa.
Now, the store will become part of the Fusion network.
There is a Fusion church (Industrial Drive branch). There will soon be a Fusion Delaware Church.
This will be in the building formerly used by First Congregational Church on State Route 42 in Lexington.
That church is about to get work done on a bell in its bell tower.
Robertson said he Googled for a listing for “bell repair.” He found a company in Cincinnati that does that kind of work. They do bell inspections — a 27-point inspection, he said.
The Fusion Delaware Branch church will be a “senior minded, traditional minded” church, he said.
Operations at the soon to be Fusion store are entirely volunteer. The store is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
One of the volunteers at the new Fusion is Jan Searcy of Bellville.
In inroducing herself, she says she is from “Bellyville.”
This name came about when she was trying to change her address and she announced she was from Bellville. The clerk wrote in “Bellyville.”
Searcy says she likes working at the new Fusion because many “gently used” items can be found there.
“This ministry touches so many people,” she said.
The people who work there become a “circle of friends,” she said.
She said she moved from a five-bedroom house into a condominium, and lots of her furniture ended up at the thrift store.
“Lots of people” hear about it and bring things in, she said.
Many items given to the store are “hidden away”in a storage unit and at Robertson’s house. He said he had a flooded basement in the recent downpour, and there was “wall to wall water.”
Some pieces in the store are huge. There is a green sectional sofa, which Robertson says would probably sell for $1,000. It is marked $300 at the store.
Searcy said she has gotten some amazing pieces from the store. Someone brought in an armoire.
She said she doesn’t know what kind of wood it is, but it has a cherry stain. She said she uses is as a pantry because it has a drawer, and she places baking sheets on that.
Proceeds from sales at the thrift store go to Samaritans for Seniors, a non-profit group Robertson founded.
There are 2,760 senior citizens over 65 in the region Samaritans for Seniors serves, the Clear Fork, Lexington and Fredericktown school districts.
Robertson said Fusion ministries doesn’t want to be a “giant mega church” and is more interested in keeping “little churches going.”