Church Helped By Texas Baptist Men - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

06/13/06 - Center

Church Helped By Texas Baptist Men

by Donna McCollum 

A new study shows that women tend to volunteer at a higher rate than men. That news may disappoint the volunteer organization called Texas Baptist Men. They stay busy all year long building churches.

Volunteer Fred Himstedt from Onalaska gives church members of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church a three day update. "As you remember on Saturday morning we came in to an empty building. And here we are Tuesday noon and your sanctuary is almost complete."

The Lord made the world in less than a week. Certainly the Texas Baptist Men can complete a place of worship in two. Himstedt continued, "The plumber will be here tomorrow." For the next eleven days hammers will fly, carpenters will measure twice and cut once. They're a rotating crew of about 20 builders who provide service to others. Pastor David Mitchell is overwhelmed at the progress. "We're just thankful to the Lord that you're able to be here." Himstedt responded, "Well, like we tell everybody. This is a blessing to us and a ministry to us. If we don't have churches that want to build than we can't come build."

They call themselves retirees,but they devote 10 months a year of labor building and completing churches. Their payment comes in a prayer said before each meal the church congregation provides. "We come to you thanking you for this day you have given us to serve you one more time," is said before sitting down to home cooked smothered steak, mashed potatoes and cold East Texas ice tea. Spouses benefit from a break from the kitchen. One commented, "Good. It's been very good food and we appreciate them too."

After a break it's back to work. A Texas Baptist Man orders, "Y'all bring it on now." His recruited crew is the choir director, a young girl and Pastor Mitchell who in one sweeping motion raise the wall on his new study. "Oh, it feels wonderful. Like a bird that's been lifted,"exclaims the pastor.

But not as satisfying as the circle of love the Texas Baptist Men have at the end of the day.   They hold hands and sing a hymn expressing thanks for serving the Lord.  

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