Carpenters for Christ Work in Yantley

The future home of Christian Fellowship Baptist Church in Yantley, Ala., is where dozens of volunteers with Carpenters for Christ are helping to make a dream come true.

The group of seventy Carpenters for Christ volunteers are all from churches in Athens and Decatur, Ala.

Christian Fellowship founder, the Rev. Robert Webb, who is also active with mission work with National Baptist Convention, says when he contacted the group it didn't hesitate to come.

"When I shared with them that we have a burning for missions, they agreed to come help with this church," said Webb.

"Both of our churches were actually built by volunteers from Carpenters for Christ. We decided we needed to give back," said Jim Ernest, a volunteer with Carpenters for Christ.

Prior to the volunteers arriving, there was absolutely nothing inside the structure. Within one day's time, walls have gone up, and plumbing has gotten started. Church officials say the volunteers are saving the church almost a half million dollars.

Carpenters for Christ was joined by members of other nearby churches in east Mississippi and west Alabama lending a helping hand.

"They came two years ago and helped us with our church, and I'm now returning the favor," said Allen Buckalew of Bethany Baptist Church in Whynot, Miss.

"It reminds me of Martin Luther King, when he said one day we'd all come together as one and I'm grateful to be a part of it," said Willie Horn of Gilfield Baptist Church in Pushmataha, Ala.

A lot of work is expected to be accomplished between now and June 18, when Carpenters for Christ is set to leave. Church officials say it is that work that will help the church get many steps closer to its goal of having the first service there in October 2009.

"See, this church is going to give us a better opportunity to do mission work," said Webb. "Missions is all about meeting needs. Any need that we see in the community, this church is going to help us meet that need."


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