Carpenters for Christ coming to Talladega
by CHRIS NORWOOD
This summer, First Baptist Church of Talladega will see some significant capital improvements thanks to Julian Newman and a crew of Carpenters for Christ.

A new brick building will host the Whosoever Will men’s Sunday school class, the fellowship hall will be getting a new roof, and a handicapped bathroom will be installed in the main sanctuary.

Newman said this will be Carpenters for Christ’s first project in Talladega, and it was a long road to get here.

“We normally do a building somewhere once per year,” he explained. “We’ve got about 150 people coming from 15 different states, Washington, California, Indiana, Ohio, and all up and down the east coast. We were originally going to be putting up a building in Spring Hill, Tenn., but the money for the supplies fell through.

“They said that wouldn’t be a problem in December, but it turned out it was. Then we were going to do a project north of Dallas, but the storms messed that up for us. Then a project in Mississippi fell through when they wouldn’t approve an out of state architect, and one in Louisiana couldn’t get the money together in time.”

Then Newman said he heard about Brian Townsend’s Whosoever Will men’s Sunday School class, which had drawn a more than capacity crowd Easter Sunday. “They had $50,000 to $55,000 saved, which was more than enough to get them a building of their own,” he said.

The new facility will be a 40-foot by 60-foot brick building with a 4 foot fireplace at one end and a kitchen at the other end.

The roof on the fellowship hall has needed work for some time and they will also be installing a two by four suspended ceiling and fluorescent light fixtures.

The carpenters will be in town for 10 days in June, and will be staying in a building on campus at the Alabama School for the Deaf. They will be cooking their own food in an AIDB kitchen (with an institute employee supervising) and will be buying produce from a local farmers market.

“We’ll have a full breakfast, then a salad bar and light lunch, then a meat and three vegetables for dinner. But we’ll be working hard. Nobody’s coming all this way just to sit around, which is why we’re taking on three projects.”

Newman has been involved in Carpenters for Christ for since 1981 and compares the annual projects to “a family reunion. It’s the only time we ever all get together, and we work for 10 days the week before Father’s Day. We’ve done projects in Alabama before, in Sylacauga and in Five Points, but this will be our first time here in Talladega.”

The Sunday School class is buying all the material and supplies with their saved money, but once the building is complete, it will belong to First Baptist Church and be available for other activities as well.

Contact Chris Norwood at cnorwood@dailyhome.com

© 2012