Volunteers help Americus church pick up the pieces - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Volunteers help Americus church pick up the pieces

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June 22, 2007

Americus -- The sound of hammers, drills and power saws echo from a rural construction site. Builders are working hard to restore the Shady Grove Mission Baptist Church. "We've pulled nails out of boards, we've moved wood, we've built walls, we put bead board on the walls," said missionary Cheryl Morris. 

But these 40 men and women aren't a professional crew. They're actually far from it. "We've got three that have been in construction all their lives, but the other 37. Some have been on a construction site one week a year and the others never seen one," said missionary coordinator Jim Cook.

Missionary workers from Lithia Springs First Baptist take one week every year to volunteer their time and resources to a worthy cause. "We paid for the trip to come down here ourselves," Morris said. "You know its just something we love doing."

This year they came to Americus for Shady Grove. During the March tornadoes, two trees fell onto the center of the church, collapsing onto the roof and destroyed everything inside.

Their help is saving the congregation a lot of money. "We are saving 50 percent of the building cost, or 40 percent anyway," said Sumter Disaster Recovery Director Jody Wade. 

But this isn't the only group planning to help with the project. "We've got crews lined up until September," said Wade. "I plan to keep them coming as long as there is still building to do."

Insurance money is paying for most of the supplies, but volunteers are doing the rest. "We are furnishing the labor, and they are furnishing the materials. We will probably run short in the end, and will need more donations," said Wade.

Volunteers are happy to do it. "We are doing it for them, but we're getting the blessings," said Morris.

The church is expected to be completed in about three months. Anyone interested in assisting with the recovery in anyway can contact Sumter Disaster Recovery  .

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