Volunteers help burned church rebound - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Volunteers help Unity Baptist Church rebuild after fire

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   Outside Unity Baptist Church in West Tuscaloosa - you can see the hole of where the burned sanctuary once stood.  It was gutted by a fire in September

   The fellowship hall was also damaged, but 30 volunteers are in town helping to fill a big void. "It was damaged by water and damaged from the smoke from fighting the fire,"said volunteer Jim Thorington.

    They're called 'Workers for Christ'  "We've taken out carpet and sheet rock"

    So they're replacing one piece of lumber and sheet rock at a time, turning the fellowship hall into a temporary place of worship.  "I just enjoy being with the men and doing God's work," says volunteer Jerry Kennedy.

   The men are all ages.  Some are retired lawyers, doctors - you name it.  They're from four different states: Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee.  "Most of us are not tradesmen by profession. It always amazes me how much work we're able to get done just with a bunch of amateurs. But, the Lord gives us the will and the skill," said volunteer Marshall Lewis

    Since the fire, Unity Baptist has been worshipping in one of two portables provided by the Southern Baptist Association after the fire.  This is a picture of the church's new vision.

    Pastor Gene Dockery says they hope to rebuild the sanctuary by next December.

    Until then, the work these men are doing is a miracle from God.  "You know man power is the essence of everything. And if you have three working together, they can accomplish more than three individuals any time."

"Somebody needs to do it...and if not me then who," added Lewis

     Pastor Dockers says they hope to at-least begin worshipping in the renovated fellowship hall by the beginning of the new year.

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