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RESOURCE CENTER AND ARCHIVES

Pisgah’s New Home Baptist works to give family in need a new homecomment (0)

February 25, 2010

By Anna Swindle


New Home Baptist Church, Pisgah, has certainly been taking its name literally in recent months.

When church member DeShun Johnson’s house was in need of repairs last summer, the Sand Mountain Baptist Association church decided to go even further by building him, his wife and their three children an entirely new home.

“We just heard through the grapevine that this family needed help,” said Kenneth Gilbert, chairman of the board of deacons and an active participant in the building process. “They had problems with their floor and things like that, and so I got a couple of guys, and we checked it out and saw right off that the house was in really bad shape.”

The men soon realized that the best option would be to start from scratch. And since Johnson is unable to do much construction on his own (he’s in a wheelchair), his fellow church members felt especially led to lend a hand.

At the next routine men’s meeting, they began discussing the possibility of taking on such a large construction project and ultimately opted to take it on as a labor of love.

“When we agreed on that night to take on the project, I told the men we’d do it by completely trusting in God to provide the need,” said Pastor David Smith. “No selling of doughnuts or raffles; we were going to trust God to take care of it for us.”

And sure enough, the resources began rolling in immediately. In fact, more than $10,000 in pledges was received that very night. One church member donated half an acre of land for the building site. A local lawyer donated his time to draft the deed.

When Smith preached at Union Hill Baptist Church, Bessemer, he mentioned the project and members there began pitching in, too. One man — a roofer — donated and installed the house’s metal roof.

“It’s amazing how our Lord worked things out for us,” said Larry Underwood, a New Home Baptist member who was involved in the project from the beginning. “We didn’t have the resources to do the project, and then we had all we needed.”

Perhaps the hardest part of the project was convincing Johnson to give the OK to do it, Gilbert said.

“DeShun and his family aren’t the type of people that ask for handouts,” he said. “I had to talk him into letting us do this project, and I told him that he’d be beating us out of a blessing if he didn’t let us help.”

Now, after months of volunteer labor, the Johnsons’ brand-new home is complete. To celebrate finishing the project, New Home held a dedication service Feb. 7. Members of Union Hill Baptist who helped out participated as well.

Smith said he’s overwhelmingly convinced that this project was God’s will from start to finish.

“The bottom line is when we started out, we not only wanted to meet the need of their family but also put our trust in the Lord,” Smith said. “When you love the Lord, you love others and they ministered to the Johnson family because of their love of the Lord.”

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