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Determination, prayer help Enonís dreams come truecomment (0)

September 5, 2002

By Sue Ann Miller

Bibb Association’s Enon Baptist Church may have a small congregation, but its church members have big dreams. And their dreams continue to come true thanks to continued prayer, generous offerings and a lot of elbow grease from many of the church’s members.

The latest addition to the quaint country church, nestled between a grove of pine trees off a secluded country road, is a long-awaited baptistry that was just completed the first week of August.

Through love offerings, the 50-member church raised the money to purchase the materials.

And between a determined pastor, several dedicated church members and a good Samaritan from a neighboring church who specializes in Sheetrock, the project was com­pleted.

“Because we’re a small church we don’t have a lot of money available for improvements,” said Lee Collins, pastor of Enon for nine years.

“So we find other ways to meet our goals,” he added.

Muscle power

What the church doesn’t have by way of finances, it makes up for in ingenuity and muscle power.

The baptistry was completely installed — plumbing and all — by Collins, chairman of deacons Austin LeVert and Glen Blake, a member of Mount Carmel Baptist Church in West Blockton. Blake, who owns a construction company, donates his Sheetrock expertise to churches in need of help.

Established in 1819, Enon was originally known as Rocky Branch Baptist Church and, like most churches built in that era, did not have a baptistry.

“We’ve been a church for close to 200 years and we’ve finally gotten around to building a baptistry,” joked LeVert, who at the age of 78 puts in more work hours than men half his age. “He can outhammer and outlast the best of us,” Collins said with admiration about the deacon, who has been a member of Enon for 52 years.

But taking on a hands-on building project is nothing new to this tenacious congregation. Six years ago they completed by hand a $160,000 building addition that cost them $45,000. “We didn’t have anywhere near that much money, but we had the desire and the determination,” said Collins, who is a bivocational preacher.

After raising the money, many members of the congregation donated their time and energy every weeknight for four months. “The work began around six in the evening and continued until midnight,” Collins said, adding that work was also done every Saturday. “We did just about everything ourselves, including the plumbing and wiring,” he proudly said.

The annexed addition included new carpeting, Sunday School rooms, an office for the pastor and  Sunday School superintendent and a nursery to accommodate the steady stream of babies and toddlers.

“Six years ago when we were working on the addition, we needed money for carpeting. We raised $2,500 in love offerings one Sunday morning,” he said.

Collins, who works full time with Liberty National Life Insurance Company, said he will often take some of his bonus money he has earned and challenge the church to match the amount. “That’s how we bought these lights,” he said, pointing at new brass and glass light fixtures hanging from the ceilings.

As the sun was setting over the trees LeVert wiped his brow as he paused to inspect his handiwork.

As the preacher was heading back into the church to check for any leaks from the plumbing pipes he had just installed, LeVert called across the yard, “Now don’t you go running off with my hammer.” Getting back to his task he remarked, “We ought to be finished by this Sunday.”

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