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The Carpenters for Christ team works on the new building for Williams Chapel Free Will Baptist Church on Friday in Iron City, Tenn.

Local churches join together to build new church in TN

Nelson Baine and David Baine work up high on the church building.
Daniel Hardiman (right) moves a piece of plywood in the lift that will serve as flooring upstairs in the church.

IRON CITY, Tenn. — It was lunchtime on Friday outside of the Holly Creek Fire Department and the Carpenters for Christ work crew was enjoying some sandwiches on the picnic table outside.

The conversation was full of laughter and fellowship as the crowd took a small recess from building a new church near the fire station on Railroad Bed Road.

It was a mostly quiet road over the state line where the cell phones quit working so well which can be a blessing for some and a curse for others.

A man named Jimmy Ballinger sat down at one of the picnic tables with his sandwich and chips in hand, but he had more on his mind that just eating his lunch.

Jimmy wanted to know where was the most beautiful place everyone at the table had been in their life.

One man said a state park, and another joked “I’ll tell you when I see it,” which drew a laugh.

When it was Jimmy’s turn to say his favorite place, it was Jenny Lake in front of Grand Teton Mountain which was a calendar-worthy view in Wyoming.

For the folks who attend Williams Chapel Free Will Baptist Church, the most beautiful place will be the sight of their brand new 6,000 square foot church building that was being put together.

The current building was small and falling apart for a congregation that had roughly 80 in attendance the week before.

It was obvious there was a definite need in this tucked away community in Iron City.

Each year, a group of churches from North Alabama join up to help build a church for an area that needs it.

“In my eyes it’s about advancing the kingdom of God,” Superintendent Mike Adams said. “I really enjoy the comradery you get from the people. The excitement you see in their faces. It’s just hard to describe.”

A member of Lindsay Lane Baptist Church in Athens, Ala. Adams was saved in 1990 and said he has been going on Carpenters from Christ trips virtually every year since 1991.

A home builder who is constantly working outside, Adams has a perpetual tan and a silver mustache as he roamed the slab giving out orders with a gruffness that is really all an act to slightly mask his deep kindness.

“Everybody shut up,” Adams said in the fire station earlier that morning to a chorus of laughs from the crew finishing up breakfast.

“If you don’t know what you are doing, ask somebody and stay safe out there.”

The jobsite was a flurry of activity was some people working on a staircase, while others climbed around in the ceiling putting plywood down for the second floor of the church.

A massive crane scooped up trusses to be placed like dominoes in a neat row.

The putt putt sound of nail guns cut through the air of the project that moved along at a rapid pace.

The Carpenters for Christ team has been all over the place building churches.

Projects in Mississippi, Tennessee, Ohio, Florida, Georgia and even New Orleans have helped people in need of better facilities and forged memories for the workers over the years.

“That feeling that you get just seeing people being saved and knowing that that building that you just got through building is going to be a harvest of people that don’t know Jesus as their personal savior,” Adams said.

“They are going to be saved and I’m going to see them in Heaven one day and they might walk up to me and say, ‘thank you for building that building.’”

If you or your church would like to be involved in future Carpenters for Christ trips, contact Missions Pastor Jon Thackston at Lindsay Lane Baptist Church, jon@lindsaylane.org

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