MONTGOMERY, Minn. - A once abandoned country church with an inspiring back story will be getting yet another coat of new paint.
Greg Thomas, a cancer patient, spent more than three years scraping and re-painting the church as part of a restoration he undertook on his own.
This summer, Thomas was devastated to see the new paint peeling off.
"It just made me sick," he said. "I got to the point I couldn't sleep at night because all I could think about was how bad it looked and the thought of having to do it all over again."
Turns out Thomas didn't have to pick up the scraper and brush this time.
On Friday, a dozen workers from the paint company Dutch Boy and its owner Sherwin Williams finished scraping the remaining paint from the church in preparation for a new coat, which will also be applied free of charge by Dutch Boy.
Dutch Boy, which manufactured the paint Thomas had originally used, determined the peeling was caused by moisture in the church's walls seeping through the 150-year-old cedar siding. The moisture likely came from a leaky roof on the church that has since been replaced.
Though not at fault, Dutch Boy and Sherwin Williams employees decided to tackle the project anyway.
"It wasn't about whether we caused the failure or not," said Scott Lyons, a director of sales for Sherwin Williams. "It was about trying to put an ending on Greg's story, and the only way to do that was to get this church painted."
Among the other employees helping with the sanding was Kelsey Wilhelm.
"Greg has that personality, once you meet him, you just can't help but help him," she said.
Thomas, whose head and neck cancer is now in remission, was brought to tears by the gesture.
"This brings a smile," he said. "I don't know how else to say it. This is overwhelmingly joyful."
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