Volunteers help to restore church and lives

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT)- Re-modeling any building is often a challenge and many small churches often struggle to find resources to get the needed work done.

One church has been blessed with a workforce who are re-building their lives as well as the church.

As volunteers grunted and groaned as they tugged at glued carpeting it was apparent that this carpet in the hallway like the carpet in the main rood didn't come up without a battle. The church as been there for over a 100 years, the carpet has been glued down since the 1990's.

Kevin Edgar, The Paragould First Church of God's pastor wanted to re-do the old sanctuary room. It was a daunting job.

"Once we got the carpet taken off I said, "Man I need some help with this." They showed up, we scraped off the old carpet glue and we began sanding, you know the old refinishing process."

Who showed up? Volunteers and men from Grace Mission Bible Training Center rehabilitation center and Shepherd's Fold Ministry. Both places work with men trying to overcome addiction. Shepherd's Fold Founder and Director Steve McCracken said they are working on their home church.

McCracken, "If we don't take care of what he has already given us, the word says, "He who has been faithful to little can be faithful to much." And he wants us to take pride in what we have for him to bless us with more stuff."

It took nearly 3 days just to scrape off the glue before the refinishing process really got underway. It has taken a little over two weeks to take out the old carpet and re-do the floor, clean the light fixtures and paint like Pastor Edgar was doing. Edgar said all he asked his board was to provide the money for new carpet, paint and materials to re-do the floor.

Edgar says to these men who volunteered the floor is a kind of parallel to their lives.

Edgar. "To take something like an old floor and re-do it and bring it back to life, they really enjoy that. And I guess it's kind of symbolic to what's happened to them."

McCracken, "We want to cover up the ugly stuff, but when God comes in he allows them to bring out the beauty in it."

Pastor Edgar said a good portion of his members are recovering addicts. "But that's okay." he says.

Edgar, "I think they feel welcome and I think they feel like they fit in and we minister to them where they are and believe in them where they are and I know there is a better day ahead."

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