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Centre team builds barn for children’s homecomment (0)

February 15, 2007



When Jimmy Whorton expressed a desire last fall for the brotherhood ministry of New Bethel Baptist Church, Centre, to get involved in local missions projects, he didn’t know a pulpit guest would soon provide the perfect opportunity.

Steve Sellers, church relations manager of Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries (ABCH), spoke at the Cherokee Baptist Association church Oct. 29, 2006. He said his purpose in speaking at New Bethel Baptist was to "share the missions work of our Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes."

And Whorton listened. After the service, he and other members eagerly greeted Sellers with offers to help the ministry. Sellers referred the volunteers to Ted Embry, ABCH area director for central and northeastern Alabama, for opportunities near the Centre area.

The result was the near-immediate fulfillment of a need — the construction of a 20-by-24-foot pole barn located on the ABCH’s Friendship House property in Oxford. The Friendship House provides a temporary home for as many as 10 children until they are either returned to their home or placed with extended family or in a foster home. Its new barn shelters a recently acquired tractor and other needed outdoor equipment from the weather and theft.

Pastor Brett Clements initiated the contact with ABCH because he has "a strong burden for youth, children and families."

"We plan to stay in touch with the Alabama Children’s Homes and make them a part of our outreach," Clements said.

Embry said the ABCH has "tried to maximize the use of missions teams" in its ministry — teams like Whorton’s.

Whorton led a team of about 10 men from New Bethel in clearing the site and building the pole barn. The volunteers "made up the money among themselves," he said, and raised about $800 to cover the cost of supplies. Whorton worked with Lumber Mart Inc. in Centre to obtain the lumber at cost. While the busyness of the holidays caused the project to stretch out over about eight weeks, the work actually took only three weekends. It was completed in early January.

Embry praised the New Bethel team for its work. "When you see them, you see a group of men and boys with the sense of purpose and commitment. It was such a positive experience," he said. (TAB)

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