Mission team building new church

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fred Knighton and Norman Rand work to cut board for the inside walls and support braces at the First Baptist Church of Red Level Wednesday. | Kendra Bolling/Star-News

Call it a blessing, or at least that’s what members of the First Baptist Church Red Level are calling their new church.

And thanks to efforts of Alabama Campers on Mission, all the church is responsible for is the materials.

“This started when we were at Carolina Baptist Church last June,” said Ray Van Slyke, vice president of the organization. “(Church members) saw it in the paper and came and talked to us.”

Campers on a Mission is a Christian ministry that assists with the construction of church buildings at no cost to the churches. Last year, they were at Carolina Baptist building a 22-classroom facility, complete with a second-story basketball court.

Van Slyke said it took about 11 months and several meetings to get the plans “just right” for the Red Level church.

Work began last Mon., May 9, and volunteers will complete the church by May 27.

Van Slyke said the work is what the Lord has called them to do.

“We show up and volunteer our time and services,” he said.

On Wednesday, crews were busy cutting wood and finishing the inside walls.

Before next week, they have to finish the roof, lay the sheet rock and more.

Some 19 volunteers were on hand Wednesday.

“We have 14 RV units set up at Hopewell Baptist Church,” he said. “Some members drive in and we have a few (volunteers) from Hopewell helping. We pick up a few members every time we work on a church.”

Deacon Willie Hudson said the church was in dire need of a new building 20 years ago.

“It was a blessing for us to get this group to come up and do it for us,” he said. “The old church was over 100 years old.”

Hudson said the new church will include a sanctuary and a fellowship hall, which will allow the church to accommodate more people.

The new building is 100 feet long.

And with the additional space, Hudson said church members are hoping their church membership will grow.

“We have 22 members right now,” he said. “We’d love to see our church grow.”