Volunteers help construct church here
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 12:00 AM
While work on their new chapel is ongoing, members of Crossway Community Church feel blessed that help has arrived from many unexpected sources including a group of volunteer carpenters.
The church - an interdenominational assembly currently located in Eastgate Plaza - is moving into the old Posey Western Auto building on Holland Avenue.
The building most recently housed a flea market.
The extended renovation project recently picked up speed after "Carpenters for Christ" arrived from Alabama.
Group spokesman John Pritchard and 17 others helped to hang sheetrock, paint and construct a stage.
Pastor Chris Vowell said the multi-denominational group sets aside a week to help raise a new church.
Pritchard added that they do a little of everything, construction wise.
"God can use anybody, even a bunch of old men," he said, noting that the group has helped raise churches since 1973.
Pritchard said his men explored the city of Philadelphia and were very impressed.
One place in particular, Williams Brothers, caught their attention.
"It took us back in time," he said. "I enjoyed the people I met."
Members of the church housed and prepared meals for the volunteers during their stay in Philadelphia.
"We have sensed the favor of the Lord on us," Vowell said. "We're also thankful to the community for all the help."
Vowell recalled the good fortune they received once the decision was made to move.
"When we started two years ago, Mike Price helped us get the spot at Eastgate. But now we've decided to buy instead of rent," he said.
Vowell said some of the biggest assistance came from Jackie Conn and his family, owner and operator of Philadelphia Gun and Pawn.
"We were looking at a foreclosed building nearby," Vowell said. "But then the Conn family said they would sell us the flea market."
The building was appraised for $275,000, he added, but it was sold to us for $195,000.
The blessings continued with the church taking up $25,000 in offerings as part of a "Chest of Joash."
Since then, another $19,000 in offerings has been accepted.
"God has kept on providing," Vowell said.
The new church has space for 250 people, a hundred more than at the current location.
The church will include a sanctuary, prayer room, foyer, two offices and four classrooms for different age groups. It will also have two bathrooms and a big fellowship hall.
"In the garage, there's a huge space for a youth area," Vowell said.
The front of the large metal building has been bricked and the sides will be painted.
"The priority is to get in there," Vowell said, expressing excitement over the new location, as it's the first church motorist seeing coming into town on Mississippi 19 south.
"We'll see so much traffic. It's all about location, location, location. A lot of things are coming together and we should be open the first Sunday in March."