Carpenters for Christ Help Local Baptist Church

Tools

By Nick Hausen
By Rachel Duensing

STONEFORT -- Volunteer builders from several states are calling Southern Illinois home this week. The group called Carpenters for Christ is in Stonefort helping with a construction project at the Baptist Church.

"The church furnishes the materials and we furnish the labor," said co-coordinator Steve Fuller.

Everywhere you looked, someone was working hard on building a new Mission Center in Stonefort and to get the job done in only a week.

"Most of these guys are just average laymen that have average jobs, they're not skilled carpenters," explained Fuller.

Carpenters for Christ travels the country looking for churches in need, but they only pick one project per year.

"We go where there is a true mission need," said Fuller. "We don't go to just help a church save money because they could not do it without help."

The group has been hard at work in Stonefort since Saturday and plans to wrap up this weekend. While it's back breaking at times, Fuller says the reward is well worth it.

"You know, God does so much for me, every year this is just a small portion of what I can do to basically repay him for what he's done for me," Fuller explained.

When the project is done, the Mission Center will serve the entire Stonefort community. A place not only to worship but to also help those in need.

"We're going to have a food pantry, we're going to have clothing, we're going to have where we can actually come in here and serve meals to people that need it," said Stonefort Baptist Church deacon Greg Prince. "We're actually putting in showers in case someone has been burned out, or they've had a storm or tornado in their area."

The baptist church hopes to one day have a traveling group trailer of its own to help those in need. Carpenters for Christ volunteers have come from Alabama, North Carolina, and right here in southern Illinois.

In 2009, they built the sanctuary for the Stonefort General Baptist Church.

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