Hammering for a Good Cause

September 5, 2003 - Posted at: 7:37 p.m. CDT

TRUMANN, Ark. -- Travelling the county, rebuilding churches. That is what a nationwide group of travellers is doing in Trumann.

They carry hammers and nails; they get inspiration from God; and they follow each other in RV's. The group is called Nailbenders for Christ, and their latest journey brought them to Region 8.

Last July, Providence Baptist Church in Trumann went up in flames, after it was struck by lightning. Nailbenders got word of the incident and immediately mobilized. The non-profit organization started in the 80's. With 70 members in the state, their mission is to help re-build churches. Providence Baptist is their latest project.

"Normally burn-outs or disasters take precedence," said Nailbender Bernis Self.

Women in the group are not allowed to get involved with the physical labor, however they do serve an important purpose, according to Nailbender Betty Collins.

"The men are afraid we'll get hurt, but are main mission is to support them, and pray for them," said Collins. "You end up being with these Nailbenders more than you are your family, so we're a tight knit group."

Nailbenders build approximately eight churches per year, and for them the biggest joy comes from satisfying church-goers.

"They said if it wasn't for you all, we wouldn't have a church," said Self.

Nailbenders for Christ expect to finish their work at Providence Baptist Church in two weeks.