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Thursday morning in Mathews County, Tom Robinson loaded the church steeple he just sold into a truck.

He’s helping turn the former church into the Cobbs Creek Arts Center – sans steeple.

It’ll lease out space for artists’ studios, as well as performances from the Courthouse Players and the community orchestra.

“We’re working with the school system here to do some things with cell phone cinema and making movies with the cell phones,” said Robinson. “And having choral and musical events, battle of the bands, or whatever. There’s a lot of different things we can have here involving kids and adults and all.”

When Robinson listed the steeple for sale on Facebook Marketplace, he encountered a few scams before getting a real offer from a Baptist church in Covel, West Virginia.

He said there were more offers made after the church reached out. But Covel Baptist got there first, he said, and it was right that they have it.

“I've had two other churches since they got it that called and wanted it and offered more money,” Robinson said. “But I've already made a deal.”

Church volunteer Jim Godfrey drove to Mathews to transport the steeple back home.

“We have a food pantry at Covel and that's where we give out food once a month to the needy,” said Godfrey. “So the cross is going to go there – the steeple and the cross will be there on top of that church.”

Godfrey duct-taped a red flag to the end of the steeple for its journey back to West Virginia.