Churches help neighboring Honoraville church

Published 10:46 pm Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Nearly 100 volunteers converged at Union Baptist Church in Honoraville on March 25, coming together from local communities and neighboring counties to help with construction of the church’s new worship and education building.

Volunteers came from as far away as Texas and Kentucky, joining 40 men and women from Tuscaloosa area churches including First Baptist Tuscaloosa, Moundville Baptist Church, Saint Mark Church in Northport,  and Five Points Baptist Church to volunteer their services on the building project.

According to Union’s pastor Mason Halacker, the volunteers have been a blessing to the church and provided them with much more than labor on the building construction.

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“[They’re help] obviously does mean more than just a building,” Halacker said. “This project has brought us together, unifying us for a common purpose. That common purpose is the Great Commission – going, baptizing, leading people to the Lord and helping them grow in the Lord. Anytime you’re doing what He wants you to do, He’s going to make it happen. I’m reminded of what it says in Psalms, ‘Not unto us, but in Him be the glory.’”

Halacker said the project began when church members recognized services, programs, and classes had outgrown the current facility and needed additional space to maintain growth.

“We had a growth in membership, and that’s a good problem to have,” Halacker said. “So many country churches are declining, but God has blessed us in a tremendous way. It’s all about loving God, loving others, and spreading the gospel.”

As the church began to discuss building for growth, Union member Michelle Stevens explored options to help with the project and eventually connected with a group of men from Tuscaloosa who work with Builders For Christ and other organizations to help with building projects and disaster relief.

‘We went down and looked at the facility,” said First Baptist Church of Tuscaloosa member and project coordinator Cord Myrick. “We looked at it and decided it was doable. We didn’t have anything else lined up for this year so we committed to go down and work on the project. We started with a group of eight to 10 men going down there three days during a week here and there. We’ve been down there six or seven times so far.”

Myrick said volunteers from Tuscaloosa area churches joined the March 25 effort – First Baptist in Tuscaloosa, Moundville Baptist Church, Five Points Baptist Church, and Saint Mark Church.  

Some 40 volunteers made the trip by their personal vehicles or rode down on the First, Tuscaloosa bus. Among those on the bus were a group of University of Alabama students who are from Texas, Kentucky, and other places. One even brought his dad along to help. 

“A lot of work was accomplished today,” said Union member Leesa Masey. “Their own grill master (Nevin Tidmore) prepared delicious ribs and chicken for lunch. We are very thankful for all of the local help and support today as well.”

Union members and local area residents came out that Saturday, accomplishing work the church members could not have completed so quickly on their own.

“The volunteers have just opened their hearts to us and have been so generous,” Halacker said. “It’s a big thing to build a church, especially in the country. God has affirmed it over and over again.”

Myrick said projects like this one bless the volunteers as much as they do the churches served by the effort.

“Our devotion to the teachings of Christ, that you are to help your neighbor,” Myrick said. “It’s something you get within, a gratification and fulfillment that you’re giving something back. There’s nothing more humbling in the world than to think you had a part of building God’s house.” 

Halacker said the church has received many generous donations for the project, and one in particular felt especially meaningful to the pastor.

“We received a call from a lady in Atlanta, Georgia,” he explained. “She said her grandfather, W.T. Davison, pastored the church in the 1940s and had a passion for growing the church. Her family wanted to make a donation in his memory.”

The Tuscaloosa group connected the project with Builders for Christ, who’s volunteers will come down to Honoraville during their annual mission trip later this year. Several more work days are scheduled before the building is completed. The church does not yet have a projected completion date, but are waiting on God’s timing.

“We did not even think we were going to be able to do it this year but the volunteers pulled out all the stops,” Halacker said. “It is truly in God’s timing. There’s no question about that.”