Jun 01, 2012 Stephanie Bouvia Uncategorized
Thanks to the 13 members of a northern Ohio-based organization, the cost of rebuilding the First Baptist Church of Memphis will be almost cut in half.
After the roof of the First Baptist Church collapsed in February, Church Care Construction was called in to help. Church Care Construction travels the country building and rebuilding various churches. The members work for free, cutting much of the labor costs.
“We are able to save churches a tremendous amount of money, because we are basically labor-free,” said Brent Howard, project manager for Church Care Construction. “Our missionaries are supported by other churches to help build churches, so that eliminates the labor costs of the building project. So we can build for a lot less money and give them, actually, a bigger building than what they would be able to afford.”
Members of the organization are currently living on the construction site of the new church, located on Route 5 in Camillus, in RVs. Some members are also temporarily renting apartments in the area while the organization is at work building a new, 24,000 square-foot building fit with a gymnasium, worship area and classrooms.
The missionary builders are currently waiting for a building permit before they begin working on the new church, said Church Care Construction director Howard Fraser. He said they are expecting to be granted a permit, hopefully, this week.
Once they obtain a permit, the builders will start laying the foundation of the building. Next will come the floors, building the structure of the walls, roof trusses, siding, windows and more, Fraser said. The organization is hoping to complete the outside of the building by the fall, after which they’ll move inside the building and work on the interior during the winter months.
Fraser said he hopes the entire project will be completed by October 2013. This particular church, he said, is a larger project than what the organization normally takes on. In order to complete it in a timely matter, Fraser said they will reach out to members of the First Baptist Church of Memphis, as well as other community volunteers who are interested in helping.
Although the project is long and laborious, Church Care Construction member Michelle Howard said it’s all worth it.
“It’s a blessing to serve people, and in serving, we actually felt like the Lord called us to do this,” she said. “I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
Howard said she feels blessed to be able to help out with this particular project because of the great need for a church after the roof of the original building collapsed. She said it’s exciting to be a part of the rebuilding of the church.
Martin Eaton founded Baptist Missionary Builders 22 years ago. That organization later merged with another named Baptist Church Planters, and would later become Church Care Construction. He said the great thing about an organization like this is that it utilizes the many talents of the organization members, and also local residents.
Eaton said it is really special to be able to serve other people who are in need. He said projects like this help bring a sense of ownership, satisfaction and pride to a community.
“They’ll take care of the building better than if they took the money out of their pocket and hired a contractor,” Eaton said.