The Coleman family celebrated the new year in a new home, thanks to volunteers from Ruston, La., with leadership from Temple Baptist Church.
Angela, Brianna and Nicholas Coleman, who had been living in a rundown trailer, moved into their new house Dec. 31, 2014. The house was built under the auspices of Habitat for Humanity, with construction beginning in March 2014.
Temple member Woodie Cooper led the project as construction coordinator. Besides providing leadership, he supplied most of the tools used, because Habitat has no tools of its own for use on construction projects.
Cooper was joined by a group he called the “faithful four” – Temple members Richard Hood, Donnie Parkman, Joe Rainer and Galen Turner Sr. The five of them went to the site every Wednesday to prepare for the next weekend’s volunteers to work.
“We had a lot of fun,” Cooper said. “They are a great bunch of guys.”
As is usually the case with Habitat houses, building this one brought widespread support from this area. Cooper said that 19 groups participated with more than 400 volunteers involved. The groups included businesses and churches. A significant amount of support also came from the drug court, with some offenders spending community service time at the construction site.
Participants were consistently enthusiastic. Cooper said, “Everybody who came there came to work.”
Cooper noted two specific examples of Temple’s involvement, one as part of a Released afternoon and the other when 65 Temple Tech students worked at the site. Additionally, members of Cooper’s Sunday School class not only worked on the house but also provided furnishings for it.
Angela Coleman and members of her family also worked on the house, meeting Habitat’s requirement that the recipient of a house put in at least 300 hours’ work during its construction.
Cooper also cited the members of the Presbyterian Church of Ruston, who not only worked on the project but also had a pounding for the Colemans to provide food to stock the new kitchen’s cabinets.
John King, Temple’s minister of missions, said that building the house is but one example of “Temple members getting involved in community projects.” As is true of Released projects and other mission activities, participation in the construction showed Temple’s members demonstrating Christ’s love beyond the walls of the church building.
With the Colemans now enjoying their new home, Cooper is looking ahead to a site in Downsville, where an existing house that needs renovation has been donated for use by Habitat for Humanity. The donor also gave $20,000 for use in renovation. Local Habitat leaders are studying the situation and making plans for the project.
Coordinating so many volunteers and putting in so much work might seem like a chore to some people, but Cooper’s enjoyment of his role is obvious. “I had a barrel of fun,” he said.