Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

October 8, 2013

Master’s Builders tackle local church project

JACKSONVILLE —

Saws buzzing, sawdust floating through the air, and the smell of fresh-cut lumber.

It's a typical scene at a construction site, but this time the workers aren't taking home a paycheck: They're offering up their labor for the love of God.

Craft Baptist Church Pastor Wade Holman admits “that seems to be the big question around the church” – how does someone take on two to three weeks of hard labor without asking for a penny in return?

“In my opinion, they're led by God to do this,” Holman said of the team of Master's Builders helping the Jacksonville Church renovate a sanctuary constructed in 1953. “Just how many people would go out and do work for nothing except to serve?

“They're gone (from home) all the time and they basically live in their RVs  (for the duration of the project they're on). I'd say they're moved by the spirit of God, and the love that they have for people  drives them to do this work they do.”

Crew members from Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas started their second week on the project, which includes creating a new platform for the altar along with a new baptistry located behind the altar; an area for a puppet ministry that will be used with children prior to the start of church services; a new handicap-accessible restroom; lowered ceilings; new doors into sanctuary and a foyer that will serve as overflow area during services.

“When we came in, we were planning on tearing out the old ceiling and hanging sheetrock, but this building has about a 9-inch swag in it, the roof had come down that much. So we had to put I-beams in to support that weight,” said Eddie Sikes, the Master's Builders field coordinator overseeing the Craft church project.

This project is the 124th for the organization since it began its national ministry in 1991. A team has been to Jacksonville in the past couple of years, helping construct a storage room on the Jacksonville College campus, where it will return when work begins on a new living residence there, Sikes said.

His teams number between 15-25 men, with their end of the work.  “We frame it, wire it and hang the sheetrock,” Sikes said. “We don't shingles, we don't do insulation, we don't do plumbing.”

Both Holman and his assistant pastor David Smith said that if not for the contribution of these volunteers, it would have taken a longer time to get the renovation off the ground because their labor has helped keep down costs; Sikes noted that cost would have doubled or tripled without volunteer labor.

And for this ministry – all done for the glory of their Lord – the pastors say they are grateful.

The Master's Builders “are rebuilding churches and helping our little churches to be able to grow,” Smith said, crediting the Holy Spirit for the joyful service this group of volunteers bring with them.

“It started at the cross – it allowed us to be engulfed in that love. We want to share it. And that's what they're doing,” Smith said.

“I have a sincere appreciation for what these guys do,” Holman added; “I know they're God-sent, but it still just puts me in awe that they're willing to spend their own money and go and do. They say it's because they love what they're doing and who they're with, but I say it's a love of God that they're able to do this. And I will say this, too: They will amaze you in how much work they can do in one day. My wife and I were actually gone last week, and when we came back I could not believe how much work they had done! They really accomplish a lot of work, they really take this seriously.”

It's evident just how big an impact the group has on the community when men begin asking about becoming part of The Master's Builders, and so far, Sikes said, two men from the Jacksonville church have expressed an interest in permanently joining the builders' group.

Which, in all honesty, doesn't surprise Smith, who admits that he and his wife have kicked over the idea themselves.

“They gather together to do just one thing, and that's to build. And they do it out of love – and that is a beautiful thing,” Smith said.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Father Mark 3.tif Godspeed, Father

    The news that Father Mark Kusmirek would leave Jacksonville to accept a new assignment Aug. 1 in Longview spread quickly around town this month.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Alto City Council examines gas line issue

    City leaders have started looking into the process of moving a gas line that runs from Alto through Wells along U.S. Hwy. 69 to meet requirements of TxDOT, which is widening the road through the city.

    July 26, 2014

  • Proposed JISD budget to get hearing date

    Jacksonville school board members will meet Monday evening for a combination budget workshop, regular board meeting and a summer board retreat, according to an JISD meeting agenda.

    July 26, 2014

  • County leaders to consider backhoe purchase

    Cherokee County Commissioners' Court will meet in regular session 10 a.m. Monday in the County Courtroom in the County Courthouse to consider approval of a backhoe purchase through a cooperative purchasing exchange for Precinct 2.

    July 26, 2014

  • Sheriff's officials bust Mixon steroid lab

    About 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 24., investigators and deputies with the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant at a residence on FM 3052 in the Mixon Community near Bullard.

    July 25, 2014

  • UPDATE: County co-op says many customers may not have power until Friday

    July 24, 2014

  • Old Jville Bearden Store.tif Longtime furniture store changes hands

    For the better part of a century, Bearden Furniture Co., Inc., has been the go-to place for local residents wanting to beautify their home.
    Furniture and accessories, carpeting, window treatments – even electronics at one point – were offered at the Commerce Street store, but on July 1, the family who started Bearden's sold the company to Louisiana-based Ivan Smith Furniture company.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Athens woman confesses to killing daughter

    A 25-year-old mother is in the Henderson County Jail after telling authorities that she had killed her four-year-old daughter, Monday
    morning.

    July 24, 2014

  • Bullard: District names Jan Hill as deputy superintendent

    Bullard Independent School District is proud to announce Jan Hill as Deputy Superinten-dent. Hill will assume the new role effective immediately.

    July 24, 2014

  • ‘Christmas in July’ drive benefits area foster children

    Sure, December is still more than five months away, but Cherokee County residents are getting the chance to start spreading some holiday cheer a little early this year during the annual Christmas in July donation drive, benefitting the county's Rainbow Room.

    July 24, 2014