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Changing the world a house at a time

By Staff
PREP WORK Alan Meincke, left, of Duluth, Ga.; Tiffany King, of Macon, Ga.; and Courtney Evans and Jesse Harper, of Knoxville, Tenn. scrape the home of Allean Sherman of Meridian in preparation for a new coat of paint. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
July 16, 2002
More than 130 youths from Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and Tennessee are spending part of their summer doing home repairs for Meridian residents.
For the third summer in a row, members of World Changers a student initiative of the Southern Baptist Convention's North American Mission Board have come to Meridian to repair low-income, owner-occupied homes.
High school students have divided into 14 crews to work on about 20 homes this week. One project is the home of Allean Sherman, 79, who lives on 20th Avenue where she cares for her sister.
Sherman said she learned about the World Changers program on television and filed an application last year with the city's Community Development Department.
Group work
The North American Mission Board hires project coordinators in and around its World Changers communities to organize the work, as well as construction coordinators who oversee the repairs.
The World Changers will be in Meridian through Saturday.
For Alan Meincke, 16, of Duluth, Ga., this is his third World Changers summer.
Two years ago he worked on a project in LaGrange, Ga., with his middle school church youth group. As a high school student last year, he traveled to Portland, Maine, with World Changers.
Lasting experience
Another student from Duluth, Kristyn Davis, 18, graduated from high school this year and is also on her third World Changers mission. She was in Portland last year and was in Stillwell, Okla., two years ago.
Courtney Evans, 16, of Knoxville, Tenn., has participated in World Changers projects for four years having previously worked in Alabama, South Carolina and Chicago.
She will be a high school senior next year. She said Sherman has "been great to us. She comes out and visits occasionally. She's sweet and funny and she brightens our moods."
Evans plans to apply for a staff position next summer in the program.
Supervising staff
Justin Cook, 20, also of Knoxville, is a World Changers staff member working for the North American Mission Board this summer.
A junior at Maryville College in Maryville, Tenn., Cook, a religion major, was previously a World Changers volunteer who worked on projects in Columbia, S.C.
Scott Walters, 39, of Starkville, is the World Changers project coordinator for Meridian. He is minister of students at Calvary Baptist Church in Starkville.