Family of a local reverend wants the city to name a street after him

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- Reverend Rufus Hayes is 91 years old and has been a staple in the Charlottesville community for 50 years.

"I've served not only Charlottesville, but all the surrounding counties," said Hayes. "There's very few churches that I haven't preached in."

People may remember his voice on WINA radio preaching sermonettes, but he's mostly remembered as the founder of Charlottesville Church of Christ. His family is requesting a honorary street designation from the Charlottesville City Council on what's referred to as Old Fifth Street by the entrance of the church.

"It's honorable because I've done a lot of work in Charlottesville," said Hayes.

Hayes says the church has come along way. He can still remember the day it was burned down, which was May 5, 2006.

"It was very disappointing and heartbreaking," said Hayes. "We had worked pretty hard to get it up that far only to find out someone had set it on fire."

With a lot of faith and hard work, the church was rebuilt. Five years ago, he remarried, but in 2013 suffered from a stroke. His new wife was right there, because the adage says behind every good man is a great a woman.

"He has done a lot of work here in the city of Charlottesville, and I think he deserves the street being named after him," said Minnie Pearl Hayes.

The reverend says if it wasn't for her, he wouldn't be alive to possibly see a street with his name on it.

"From that alone, she means everything to me," said Hayes.

This subject will be on the city council's agenda in February. Hayes and his wife say they plan to be there. Residents who live on Old Fifth Street near the Charlottesville Church of Christ are being notified that the street may get a new honorary name.

Charlottesville Church of Christ is all that remains from before Fifth Street Southwest was widened and aligned with Ridge Street in the early 1970s. Twelve homes were demolished, and Ridge Street was split in two.

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