The Herald Bulletin

March 20, 2010

Auction deal for buyers, not for owners

Man 4 Man Ministries takes over old Gentry’s Cabinets building

By Christina M. Wright, Herald Bulletin Staff Writer

ANDERSON — An auction held Saturday at a former, popular cabinet manufacturer resulted in deals for local woodwork hobbyists and businesses, but earned less than the new owners hoped for.

“We got a lot of people but not a lot of buyers,” said Tony Canaday, the Man 4 Man Ministries board chairman.

The ministry that serves men re-entering the community after incarceration bought the large building in the 400 block of Main Street after Gentry’s Cabinets went bankrupt late last year. Canaday said Man 4 Man Ministries auctioned off all of the wood and equipment to clear the warehouse next to the main building for later use.

Gentry’s had been a staple in Anderson since 1948, designing and installing kitchen and bathroom cabinets. So the auction hit home for some buyers.

“It was good buys, but it’s sad because I knew the people here and it’s a sad deal for Anderson,” said Tony Jackson, who bought a workbench and tables he intended to put in his Alexandria barn. “Gentry’s was an Anderson staple.”

The ministry has been renting space at Eighth Street and Madison Avenue since 2006, when its building on Broadway burned down. Although saddened by the departure of the company that built the cabinets in his first home, Canaday said the ministry will fully utilize the space.

“It’s going to allow us to have multiple meetings at once,” he said.

He added that the men are planning on putting a resale shop and bookstore in the main building. The bookstore would be able to send Bibles and other reading materials to inmates.

“If you buy a Bible and want to send it to the jail, you couldn’t,” Canaday said. “It would have to be a certified bookstore that sent it.”

Canaday said the ministry has not decided what to do with the warehouse space once it’s completely empty.

Woodworking equipment, wood and partial and complete cabinets went for well under store prices at the six-hour event Saturday. A complete double-sink with cabinet space and drawers sold for $50. A used-jacuzzi sold for $40.

Auctioneer Richard Symmes said part of the reason some of the items sold so low was because they were second-hand. But, he said, there were items that sold for more than $1,000.

“For the age of the equipment, it went very well,” he said. “The machinery was were the money was. The money wasn’t in the wood and cabinets.”

Jerry Doty, a county resident who does woodwork out of his warehouse, found the dust collector he had seen in stores for about $1,000, but for only $300 at the auction. He also bought about three truckloads of wood and glass panels.

“I left him alone for an hour, and I came back and look what happened,” laughed his wife, Jennifer Doty, as she watched her husband and son load the piles of wood.

Canaday said the auction would most likely not achieve the ministry’s goal to own the building “free and clear.” It will continue a capital campaign to raise the funds, he said.

The ministry was founded in 2001, to help men leaving out of prison to adopt and sustain a productive lifestyle. The group has devotional meetings and helps the men find jobs. Canaday said the ministry provides alternative jobs in detailing vehicles, mowing lawns and catering.

“What it boils down to is that a lot of these men haven’t had fathers in their lives and never had anyone teach them how to be a positive influence in their community,” he said, pointing to a 4 percent re-offender rate in Anderson versus the national 65 to 85 percent.

“When a guy gets out, he’s looking for some positive friendships. And that’s what we have.”

Contact Christina M. Wright, 640-4883, christina.wright@heraldbulletin.com.