NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – It’s a save of a different kind.

Mariano Rivera is a star pitcher with the New York Yankees. But in New Rochelle, he’s hit a home run.

His Pentecostal congregation is going to fix up the crumbling North Avenue Church, which dates to 1891.

It’s abandoned. A stone wall has been toppled. The slate roof has holes.

WCBS 880’s Sean Adams In New Rochelle

“Without this kind of a deal, it probably would either have just demolished or fallen down. It really sends a strong message that no matter who you are you still have to be involved in your community,” says City Manager Charles Strome. “He really appears to be a deeply religious person and this is deep in his heart.”

Strome said when Rivera saw the building he fell in love with it.

Beyond a house of worship, Rivera hopes to make it a fixture in the community. Plans also call for a day care center, after school programs, a food pantry, and a clothing closet.

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