Local church gifts $50k to community grocery store

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Starmount Presbyterian Church in Greensboro sees its mission as serving those in need.

And one devoted member of the congregation continues to do that -- even after her death.

When Lillian Steele passed away, she gifted $1.4 million to the church, which she had attended for many years.

"We were shocked and overwhelmed somewhat at the magnitude of the gift," the church's Director of Finance Libby Wilson said.

Wilson said the church decided to give some of the money away. After an application process, $50,000 will go to Renaissance Community Co-op, a community-owned grocery store currently under construction in Northeast Greensboro.

"It feels absolutely wonderful," said RCC board member Casey Thomas. "We are going to be able to have startup funding so that we can hire more people earlier. We'll be able to make sure the store is staffed and people are trained. It'll be really helpful."

Wilson said, coincidentally, the Northeast Greensboro neighborhood is where Steele spent many years working as a librarian for Guilford County Schools.

"Her very gift is going back to help support the very community that she served for so long," Wilson said. "We could definitely see God's hand at work."

The Renaissance Community Co-op expects to open in October. For more information, visit renaissancecoop.com.