Converting the fire-ravaged Wilmington Funeral Home on Broad Avenue into a church and religious center for the destitute apparently wasn't in the Lord's plan after all.
"There is a reason it didn't work out," said Pastor Robert Crivelli, 33, a former drug addict and gang member who last summer said God had instructed him to leave a storefront ministry in San Jose to open the center. "Why? I don't know. You never know how the Lord works."
Crivelli and about 40 friends and relatives fell about $30,000 short of the $49,000 they needed for a down payment on the 60-year-old structure, which they were going to buy for $200,000. Yard sales, raffles and other fund-raising efforts simply weren't enough, Crivelli said.
In December the funeral home was sold to a developer, who has torn it down and hopes to replace it with apartments, according to the broker for the property.