Niles church’s expansion prayers answered
Prayers have been answered for a Niles church in need of more space to accommodate a growing membership.
Last week, workers from the Jack Ballard Church Builders ministry began working on a new $250,000 addition to the Fairland Christian Church on River Bluff Street in Niles.
When it’s finished, Fairland’s 120 members will have an additional 5,000 square feet in which to worship and attend classes. Membership has grown 13 percent since last year.
Don Fleischman, senior pastor, said it wouldn’t have been possible without Jack Ballard Church Builders.
“It’s just been a huge blessing for us,” he said. “They will save us at least $100,000 in labor.”
Since forming in 1971, Jack Ballard Church Builders has completed 98 projects in 25 states and Canada. Fairland will be Georgia-based nonprofit organization’s 99th project.
Ron Williams, of Georgia, was one of 45 volunteers working on the project Monday. He’s been involved in 94 of the 99 projects, including one in 2008 at the Michiana Christian Service Camp in Niles.
“We have a saying: You can’t pay us to work this hard,” Williams said.
Most of the volunteers are retirees with a penchant for expanding God’s kingdom one building at a time. Williams said the average age of a volunteer was around 72.
“We’ve got a guy from Ohio in his 90s,” he said.
Reggie Olson, of Jones, joined the Church Builders a few years ago.
He was integral in setting up Fairland with the Church Builders.
“I’m just blessed to be in a position to help,” he said.
In addition to working with churches, the Church Builders do construction work for Christian foundations and service camps.
The Church Builders provide free labor, while the church provides the materials and lunch. Projects last 2 1/2 weeks.
The Fairland project is scheduled to be completed May 1.