Prayers will turn to action one week this summer, as approximately 200 young people from around the state will repair homes on behalf of Kingdom Builders, a non-denominational ministry based in Statesboro, Ga.
The Kingdom Builders director, Joey Fennell, visited Columbus last week to meet with staff from First Baptist Church, whose youth group is taking part.
“It’s the next step for our youth,” said the Rev. Brandon Strozier, minister to students, who’s taken teens to similar mission projects but never in their own city.
The effort is not limited to First Baptist. Other groups and individuals are invited to participate.
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On June 19, youth and their chaperones will gather for worship. Local worship leaders Jonathan and Lisa Moore will lead it, as well as nightly services. The work begins June 20 and ends June 24. Days will be filled with as many as 15 renovation projects. The crews will stay overnight at Brookstone School.
Renovations will include everything from painting to re-roofing.
Homeowners in need may apply for help through Strozier at First Baptist. Three criteria are necessary for consideration: The person has to own the home, live in it and show taxes were paid for 2010.
Fennell said entire families sometimes sign up for such projects. He and his family have done them.
Participation per person costs $225, which includes lodging and food for the week.
A construction manager will oversee each project. The Rev. Jeff Howard of Porter Memorial Baptist Church said such leaders need to have construction management skills and be able “to identify with teenagers.”
As for the teens, they don’t have to have construction know-how. If some are interested in doing yard work or teaching in Vacation Bible School, there are places for them.
Planning for this local effort began last fall. Kingdom Builders’ pilot project was in 1999 in Boone, N.C., and in 2002 the organization became incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Fennell began as the full-time director in 2005.
Strozier said the work itself is testimony.
“It’s a pretty stark change of what you’d expect from teenagers. They’re going to be worshiping and working for five days. That’s a testimony in itself,” he said. “It will give them opportunities to share their faith; they won’t be closed off from the people who own the homes.”
If you or your group is interested in participating, call Brandon Strozier at 706-322-4468 or e-mail Bistrozier@gmail.com.