Volunteer ministry helps build churches and communities - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Volunteer ministry helps build churches and communities


By Danielle Thomas – bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - A volunteer group that builds houses of worship is in South Mississippi to lend a helping hand. Nail Benders is a Christian ministry that constructs churches around the country. This week volunteers are working in Ocean Springs.

After eight moves in twelve years, the congregation at Grace Church Gulf Coast was finally on its way a building a permanent home, but the pastor says when the money ran out, construction stopped.

"We've moved so much. It's been really difficult for us to maintain a church membership," said Rev. Brad Robertson. "I think just having our own place will allow us to have more stability."

Nail Benders stepped in ready to take the job. The volunteers travel wherever they are needed to help build God's houses. Don Griffin is one of the group's founding members.

"We choose a church that is in dire need of a building and maybe can't afford to pay labor and material and so we provide the labor," Griffin said.

Volunteers say the Ocean Springs project is slightly different from what they normally take on. Every year since 1994, they've built a church from the ground up.

"We've got five teams, and every year the same crew goes in the same order," said volunteer Jack Honea. "The ones that are starting on the foundation, the framers get a little more experience in that area. I'm head of the last crew, the fifth. People get more accustomed to sheet rock mud and painting and hanging doors."

Nail Benders volunteers say when they build a church, they know they are also helping spread God's love to an entire community.

"We've had school teachers. We've had secretaries and bankers that would go and say, 'Hey, I can do this,'" said Honea. "It's so exciting to see, maybe women, find that they can put up vinyl siding, or teenagers that find out they can put the screws in sheet rock."

"Then they really feel good about accomplishing something and knowing that they have helped to build a church. For even years after they're gone, it's still going to be there for people to come and find Jesus Christ."

Most of the Nail Benders volunteers live in Mississippi. If you are interested in joining, call 601-341-2714.

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