Volunteers aid church additioncomment (0)
September 7, 2000
By Leigh Pritchett
One hundred volunteers – some from as far away as Hawaii – have helped to construct a two-story addition to Central Baptist Church in the Argo-Trussville area.
Also, through a series of events that could only be described as the mighty hand of God at work, the group of Carpenters for Christ volunteers secured and put up a steeple for the church’s sanctuary.
Dewey Corder, pastor of Central Baptist in the St. Clair Association and former president of the Alabama State Baptist Convention, said the volunteers began work May 31 on the 6,000-square-foot addition. This addition will provide educational space, a fellowship hall and a children’s worship area. Also part of the project is putting a kitchen in an existing building.
It is the first addition to the church campus in 35 years, said Corder. He noted that the same man, George Massey, who is coordinating this project, also coordinated the last one 35 years ago.
On any given day, 85 men were on site, Corder said. The 100 volunteers represented 31 churches in nine different states, among them Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi and West Virginia.
“We were really blessed to know that many men wanted to come,” said Corder.
The coordinating group of Carpenters for Christ was from Golden Springs Baptist in the Golden Springs area (Calhoun Association). Corder helped to form that group 25 years ago when he was pastor there.
“We still have volunteers from there who are coming back to do electrical wiring” and other tasks, said Corder. Plus, men from Central Baptist are putting their muscle to the project during scheduled “work days” at the church.
Just having the Carpenters for Christ volunteers available to assist this year was evidence of the movement of the hand of God. Corder said the church had a vision of expanding its space even before he became the pastor a couple of years ago. Earlier this year, though, the Carpenters for Christ indicated the group would be available because a project in Georgia that it was to work on had not reached the appropriate stage yet.
That meant preliminary work at Central Baptist – getting permits, site preparation, etc. – had to speed up, in order for everything to be ready for the Carpenters for Christ to begin work.
“The Lord opened a lot of doors,” said Corder. In fact, doors were opening one right after the other during the project at Central Baptist.
One particular instance involved the steeple. The Carpenters for Christ had removed the old steeple from the church because it had deteriorated and it was leaking.
Two days before the Carpenters for Christ were to wind up their initial work at Central, Charles Williams of Golden Springs Baptist felt impressed that he didn’t want to see the church without a steeple.
He called Roanoke Fiberglass Unlimited to see if the company had a steeple. He was told that steeples had to be ordered many weeks ahead of time. Before ordering, an architect has to determine the proper height and has to figure the angle of the roof.
Nonetheless, the person to whom Williams spoke said the company did have a steeple that was 32.5 feet in height, with a cross on top and a leaded glass effect at the base of the structure for lighting. A church had ordered it, then didn’t want it.
Williams told the company someone would be there in a few hours to get it. Then Williams realized the trailers the Carpenters for Christ had on site would not accommodate the steeple. He called Johnny Ray Trucking Co. in Eastaboga to get a flatbed. The company had only one available, but it had to be back that afternoon because it had been promised out already.
Only five hours passed from the time the though crossed Williams’ mind to the moment the steeple arrived at Central Baptist.
Williams, who realizes now that he “was just being led like a sheep,” said he had given no thought as to where the $2,800 would come from to pay for the steeple. The Carpenters for Christ organization covered it initially. But before the group left Central Baptist two days later, Williams got word that the amount for the steeple had been taken care of through donations.