More than 130 students from Texas Technical College spent their spring break in Hurricane to erect a Baptist church.
The 132 members of the First Southern Baptist Church, Lubbock, Texas, came at their own expense. Some of them stayed at a sister church in St. George, while others stayed at the building site in Hurricane. Meals were provided by members of the local First Southern Baptist Church.The students brought $7,000, donated by their church members in Texas, to help buy building materials. By the time they left, the young men and women had erected the church and carpeted a small portion of it. Sixty local church members worked all week with the students, many bringing their small children with them.
When members realized a church building was needed for the growing number of Baptists in the Hurricane and LaVerkin area, they approached Richard Ashworth, Moab, area director of resources for the church. He contacted the Lubbock group, which has already helped build four churches, including two in Utah.
In February, local Baptists poured concrete for the base of the four-classroom building, which also has a kitchen, a chapel that will seat approximately 120 and a baptistry.
According to Pastor Emory Huey, "eight or 10 of the workers were unfamiliar to me. They were professional cement workers, friends of some of our members, who came to help us. I don't know who to thank but am most grateful to them."
Huey came to Hurricane nearly two years ago from Pennsylvania.
"The city of Hurricane has been so good to us; we really appreciate it," said Victor Bassford, music director for the congregation. "They rushed our building permits and helped in every other way possible. We have tried to reciprocate by donating a fireplug and 330 feet of waterline."
Interstate Rock Products Co. donated the use of heavy equipment to the group. Neal Bailey donated use of a backhoe to dig the sewer. Larry Kratzer and son Terry donated 150 hours of electrical work. Four men in the congregation with construction experience acted as sub-contractors.
A professional plumber was hired along with two roofers to help finish the shingling. The remainder of the building was done by volunteer labor. The outside of the building is to be stuccoed, and sewer and water pipes must be laid and connected plus carpeting and benches set in place. The building has been appraised at $110,000 by its insurer.
At the end of the weeklong job, the local church members joined their fellow Baptists from Texas in an inspirational church service.