By Benjamin Cohn
Leicester – Baptist Christians living in the Leicester area have a new church facility to look forward to with the construction of Beulah Baptist Church’s new sanctuary building, located just yards from the original church location.
According to long-time Pastor Ricky Wolfe, Beulah Church’s congregation has expanded so much lately that it has outgrown its current building and now requires a new one. “This’ll be the new sanctuary and fellowship hall and classrooms for Beulah Baptist,” he told the Leader.
“We’ve outgrown that one [indicating the old building]. We’ve been looking for probably seven, six to seven years to be able to do this.” Wolfe said the turning point came when he got in contact with faith-based groups who travel the region and help construct churches free of charge.
“There was Carpenters for Christ out of Attalla, Alabama. After they left, a group called Builders on Mission, mostly based out of Tennessee. They’re here today. There’s been around 200 volunteers to come through so far.
“We have a brick crew coming in on Saturday, they’ll start bricking the exterior of the building,” he said. Wolfe said that, without the grace of God, this church building never would have been constructed.
“A lot of churches around our area helped us. Maple Ridge out in Enka was the one that gave us the name [of the church construction crew] of these people. Zion Hill Baptist Church on Newfound Road, they’ve been gracious enough to let all these people stay at their facility for a month, while they’re working.”
Wolfe recalled a time recently when he came to work on the site and found representatives from nearly ten different area churches volunteering their time and labor.
Speaking about the new building itself, Wolfe said, “It’s a facility that we’ve been praying about. [We] had to do it all in seven months. We didn’t know that they [church builders] were actually going to do until November .”
He reported that, all told, he expects more than 350 volunteer laborers to have come and gone by the time the project is completed. When the volunteer labor expires in mid-July, Wolfe said his own church will have to take the lead again and finish whatever work is left to be done.
“When they get through, whatever’s left, we have to go in and finish up. It’ll depend on volunteers we have and things that we can do there. We actually began grading on this about eight weeks ago. This was a big hayfield, so we started doing the site work … and it’s taken about eight weeks. It normally takes about six months to do that.”
Wolfe and Beulah Church have upended the typical wait time for construction projects and gotten everything together exceptionally quickly.
“We have to do right on everything. The permits, we had to go through the county on everything. This right here started about … six weeks ago, five weeks ago. It was nothing, it was just dirt. We had to start there. It’s been amazing how people from our community, other churches, have actually been bringing desserts to be able to feed these people. They’ve given us money.”
Through all this rapid success, Wolfe remains humble. “Unless the Lord did it, we weren’t going to be able to do it,” he said.