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franklin county times

Two Meridian churches lend a hand
to Missouri church building project

By Staff
CONSTRUCTION CONTINUES Jake Ammon hammers together beams that soon will be part of the new sanctuary and offices of Calvary Baptist Church in Hannibal, Mo. Ammon and many others from Meridian volunteered their time on the building project. Below, Sawdust flies as Steve Jones saws down the middle of a piece of wood going into an interior wall at the new Calvary Baptist Church building in Hannibal, Mo. Holding the wood steady is Gerald Davidson. Both men are members of churches in Meridian, and traveled to Hannibal to volunteer their time and skill to help with the project. PHOTO BY DAN DALSTRA / HANNIBAL COURIER-POST
By Ida Brown / religion editor
June 21, 2003
Although excited about helping another church's building project, Fifteenth Avenue Baptist Church member Royce Atkins expected a recent mission trip in Hannibal, Mo., to be "business as usual."
The Rev. Dr. Jimmy Williams of Fellowship Baptist Church agreed that the mission trip exceeded everyone's expectations.
Atkins and Williams were part of a 27-member crew from the two Meridian churches who traveled to Hannibal to assist an ongoing construction project at Calvary Baptist Church.
For 11 weeks, more than 470 volunteer builders representing more than 30 churches including those in Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois will help in construction of the church's new sanctuary.
The building that
almost wasn't
Calvary Baptist's new $1.8 million, 21,000-square-foot sanctuary will be added to the church's current multi-purpose building. The hexagon-shaped sanctuary will seat 600, and the building will include church offices, a welcome center and lobby, a media center, library and choir rehearsal suite.
In the planning stages for two years, the project seemed to just fall in place.
But then there was a setback.
The congregation began to pray to save the project. Alternatives included decreasing the building's size or paying for construction in phases.
Another option was to seek assistance from volunteer builders.
Within weeks, Anderson began receiving calls from churches around the country to sign up for the endeavor.
Two churches,
one mission
Like many Meridian churches, congregants of Fellowship and Fifteenth Avenue Baptist churches usually plan a mission trip during the summer. The churches two pastors are friends and two years ago, the congregations collaborated on a project in Kentucky.
While looking for a joint mission project for the two churches, Bird happened on the one in Hannibal.