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Shelters for Souls rebuilds single motherís homecomment (0)

October 13, 2011

By Julie Payne

You could say that the church community where First Baptist Church, Gallant, is located is a musical community.

Every fifth Sunday for years, First, Gallant, and several other closely-knit churches of different denominations have united for a hymn singing, raising melodic voices to the heavens.

You also could say that music has played a vital role in binding this church community even closer together to help a family displaced by April’s storms rebuild its home.

After a tornado barreled through Shoal Creek Valley in St. Clair County on April 27, Pastor Tom Brown learned of a particularly dire need from James Sampley, pastor of First Baptist Church, Ashville. Sampley asked Brown if his church would partner with First, Ashville, to rebuild a single mother’s home.

First, Gallant, came up with a name for the project — Shelters for Souls — and a church member developed a logo.

The initial Shelters for Souls fundraising event Aug. 13 in the Gallant community incorporated music and lots of it.

Bluegrass and gospel tunes were performed at Ahava Springs under a large pavilion on the property.

Sampley informed attendees about the project’s needs and the type of house the churches wanted to build for the family. The local volunteer fire department provided food and approximately $4,000 was raised.

“It really has energized a lot of folks in our congregation,” Brown said of Shelters for Souls.

Jana Mayo is one of those.

The children’s choir director at First, Gallant, asked herself what the children’s choir and drama department could do to help the project. With about 25 children who love to sing and perform, Mayo decided to put on a performance of “Down by the Creek Bank.” A special donation was taken at the recent two-night event with proceeds benefiting Shelters for Souls.

The production included a lot of fun music.

“Our church is a singing church,” Mayo said. “Combining my [choir] kids’ talents to help someone in need is the most rewarding thing.”

Two First, Ashville, members have served as general contractors for the project.

Other volunteers from the church have helped maintain a clean work site.

Other churches and ministries have stepped up to help, too.

Volunteers from CrossPoint Baptist Church, Trussville, roofed the house with shingles from Calhoun Baptist Association. Local Churches of Christ furnished the appliances.

The initial goal was for the family to be in the new home by Christmas, but Sampley said that date has been advanced to late October, thanks to the eagerness of so many people willing to assist.

“It’s been a combined effort,” he said. “God has just provided.”

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