Madison church expanding with help from ‘Church Builders’
Group helps Christian Church expand
By Jessica Blomquist
One small Madison church is getting a big upgrade.
With help from the Jack Ballard Church Builders of Mount Carmel Christian Church in Stone Mountain, the congregation of Madison Christian Church will soon have a new worship building.
The Church Builders group is made up of about 75 Christian men who volunteer their time to build churches across the country, said one worker, Ron Williams.
“Most of them are not professional carpenters or electricians,” he said.
“We’re just people who like to help other churches.” The Church Builders began constructing the new building on May 5 after the foundation had been laid.
“Typically, they come in and with nothing but the foundation, they build the whole thing,” Dwight Webster, pastor of Madison Christian Church, said.
The group works for several weeks at a location, completing the building up to the point of putting up sheetrock. The church must then hire separate contractors to do the plumbing, heating and air, and roofing.
The Church Builders finished the initial start of the project on Wednesday, May 21, but will come back and finish electrical, including switches and plug-ins.
This project marks the third time that the Church Builders have worked with Madison Christian Church. The group built the church’s first sanctuary, which seats about 80, in 1973. They returned in 1975 to do some additional work.
The church currently has a membership of about 45 people, with visitors increasing church attendance to around 60 each Sunday. Webster expects the church’s membership to increase because of growth in the area due to the new subdivisions being built nearby. It is also the only church west of Madison and north of I-20 between Madison and Rutledge.
The new building will include a fellowship hall, the children’s nursery, offices for the pastor and the church secretary, and a sanctuary, which will seat around 250 people.
The new building is 70 feet wide and 125 feet long, a combined area of 8,750 square feet. Webster anticipates the building to be completely finished and furnished by July.
The Jack Ballard Church Builders was named after Mount Carmel’s previous minister and founder of the group who died in February of 2007.
The group began in 1971 by helping a church in Greenville, S.C., which needed help enlarging their facilities. Twenty-five men from Mount Carmel drove to the church on Thursday and in 3.5 days had met their need for additional space.
“This is kind-of like an old-fashioned barn raising,” said Williams, describing the group’s ministry.
Originally the Church Builders ministry provided all materials and labor, but as the ministry grew, this changed.
The size of the buildings increased and the construction time span grew from 3.5 days to nearly three weeks, requiring the church members to provide the materials. Mount Carmel’s members, various sponsors and past churches that were helped by the group, all give money to the ministry, enabling them to pay for transportation, lodging, and most meals.
Since beginning in 1971, the Church Builders have completed 88 projects in 25 states, some as far away as Hawaii, California, and Texas, as well as in Canada. Not only do they build churches, they have also completed buildings for Christian service camps and two homes for the handicapped in Kentucky and Tennessee. Churches approach the Church Builders upon hearing about them through word of mouth, requesting help with their building needs.
The new building is located on the same land as the first sanctuary, positioned closer to Highway 278 near the intersection with Brooks Road west of Madison Madison Christian Church holds services each Sunday, with Bible school at 10 a.m. and worship service at 11 a.m.