|Meshach's Carpenters rebuilds church in eight days|
Members of Meshach's Carpenters guide the
steeple toward the new Pearlington (Miss.) United Methodist Church
sanctuary. UMNS photos by Lisa C. Michiels.
By Lisa C. Michiels*
July 2, 2007 | PEARLINGTON, Miss. (UMNS)
They broke ground on Father's Day and, five days later, a steeple was in place atop the new Pearlington United Methodist Church.
Meshach's Carpenters is a family affair for the Fields. Team
leader Charlie Fields stands with his children Jill, Cam and Clay.
Building a church from the ground up in eight days is nothing new for
Meshach's Carpenters. They accomplished the same task in June 2006 for
Clermont Harbor United Methodist Church in Waveland, Miss.
Meshach's Carpenters began as a Volunteer in Mission team from
Goldston, N.C., organized in 1999 after Hurricane Floyd flooded many
homes in North Carolina.
"We started out with the idea of working two or three weekends to get
that 'feel-good sensation,'" said Charlie Fields, the group's team
leader and a member of Goldston United Methodist Church. "Fifty-two
weeks later, we had worked over 48 weekends out of the 52, and today
over 30 churches are involved."
Starting with a group of 20, Meshach’s Carpenters now have more than
100 volunteers, and the group has grown from two churches to more than
30, including other denominations.
"Meshach's Carpenters is equipped with tools and a willingness to work," Fields said.
United Methodists in Mississippi are glad to have help from the group
after Hurricane Katrina flattened most of the state's coastline in
Pearlington was one of the hardest hit communities, and many homes
and businesses were flooded and lost. Churches were not immune to the
storm's devastation, either.
Pearlington United Methodist Church opened its doors in 1813 and has
served as a center for worship for generations of families. The original
building was lost to fire in 1930, and Hurricane Katrina destroyed the
second structure. Nothing could destroy the worshiping community,
"Right after the storm, we met on the front steps with the few folks who
were still here," said Minnie Giveans, who has been a member of
Pearlington since 1954. "We’ve grown to 35 members now and started
meeting in the parsonage once it was built back on the slab."
The team finished the job in just eight days.
Fields and his team have returned to Goldston, but some work
continues on the Pearlington church as volunteers from Mt. Bethal United
Methodist Church in Marietta, Ga., complete the building's interior.
On the home page of the Meshach’s Carpenters Web site are these words: "All things done in God’s way, in God’s will, will never lack Godly supplies."
Giveans agrees. "I can’t put into words what this means to this
community. God is so good. It is the love of God that brought it back."
* Michiels is the United Methodist Seashore District communications coordinator for Mississippi Katrina Recovery.
News media contact: Kathy L. Gilbert, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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