Volunteers help build new church in Brazil

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BRAZIL, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – The current Bee Ridge Congregational Church in Brazil can host approximately 75 to 80 guests in its building.

According to the pastor of the church, Jeff Bridgewater, the limited amount of space has had an impact on attendance.

“Over the years and I’ve been here for almost 14, I have seen attendance climb and fall, and climb and fall because we don’t have room to grow. We don’t have room to expand,” Bridgewater said.

To help fix this issue, Bridgewater says the church began fundraising and taking in offerings to fund a new building.

“We had approximately $105,000 saved, it took us years to get that,” Bridgewater said.

The $105,000 that was raised would cover the parts needed to build a new church, but it would not cover labor. That’s when Bridgewater called on a group known as Carpenters for Christ for help.

“Every year we take a Carpenters for Christ trip and go help a church that can not afford to build up a facility or a building by themselves,” said Steve Fuller, co-coordinator of Carpenters for Christ.

Fuller says with the help of over 120 volunteers from various states, they are able to build these churches for no charge.

While some of these volunteers are skilled in construction, that’s not the case for everyone.

“We may have a dozen or more skilled people out there, that are skilled in building and trades and then the rest of us, we might be accountants, or doctors, or just garbage men or whatever,” Fuller said.

The group started work on Saturday and they are expected to have most of the new Bee Ridge Church finished by Friday. Fuller says this began as way to share their love for Christ.

“We just try to share Christ with the community and we’re trying to share Christ with our actions of service,” Fuller said.

Bridgewater says a new church would not have become a reality without Carpenters for Christ.

“We would never be where we are without Carpenters for Christ, without the money that they save us. They do this as a ministry, they charge no labor, and it’s amazing,” Bridgewater said.

When the new Bee Ridge Church is completed it will be able host 200 people. It will also include a  nursery, pastor offices, and classrooms.

Bridgewater hopes to have the new church opened in mid-July.

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