Church says they were cheated by contractor, volunteers step in to help finish work

Members of a small church on the Stone-Barry County line say the church was cheated out of thousands of dollars.

A few months ago, Carr Lane Baptist Church paid a contractor to make repairs, which included replacing the siding and building a handicap ramp. However, church members say before he completed the work, he and his workers stopped showing up.

Church members Robert and Karen Pounds say volunteers are now working to finish the job that KyCrete and Construction started.

"One thing led to another and, then, he wasn't showing up," Robert Pounds said.

The church says they paid the owner of the Buffalo-based business, J.D. Crowl, about $10,000. Receipts and check records prove that the church paid Crowl.

"It's very disappointing," Karen Pounds said.

The church estimates that Crowl only completed about half the work and say he even lied to them about materials.

"He said he made a special deal with a concrete company here in Berryville that if he paid for all of it up front, he'd get a good deal, get a cut. Well, that wasn't true. We called and talked to the guy and he said 'No, we don't make deals,'" Robert Pounds said.

Pounds says, now, Crowl will not respond to their calls or emails.

KY3 News also reached out to Crowl, however, the number listed on his businesses card appeared to be a non-working number.

Attorney Blake Fields says he tried to contact Crowl as well, after the church asked him for legal advice.

"That struck me as a particularly bad sign," Fields said.

Fields says he considered taking the case.

"Even if I were to successfully sue, even if I were to go to court and get an I.O.U, I don't know if there's someone who's capable of paying it. Is that going to get this church restored if I get a judgement? Probably not. They needed help now," Fields said.

So, Fields started contacting people about volunteering. He asked area churches to donate time and money. On Saturday, a group from a nearby boy's ranch came to work for free. On Tuesday, about two dozen people, including Fields, showed up. Many of the volunteers, church members don't even know.

"We just thought we'd come over and see what we could help do," Volunteer Molly McKay said.

"Sometimes the solution is not a legal one, it's just coming together as a community and being good people," Fields said.
Now, church members say they're grateful.

"It's just wonderful to think that so many Americans still want to help one another," Joyce Cobb said.

The Pounds say they're not holding a grudge against Mr. Crowl and they have one message for him.

"You don't have to do what you're doing. You can do better. Look to the Lord and he will guide you," Karen Pounds said.

Fields is working to help the church raise the $5,000 they apparently lost to this contractor, so they can get the needed materials and complete the work.

If you'd like to donate time or money, you can contact Fields at 605 Main St, Cassville, MO 65625 or (417) 847-9999.

Read the original version of this article at www.ky3.com.