The atmosphere in Melford Hall seemed dramatically different from June 9-16. It may have been the sound of tool belts jangling. Perhaps it was the smell of aftershave or the echoes of animated discussions about NASCAR and golf.
The women’s dormitory was certainly a different place—and, thanks to a crew of nine volunteers from Independent Baptist Builders International, Inc., a dry and warm place. The men replaced Melford’s roof in three days, saving the College an estimated $10,000.
“It was certainly beneficial from a practical standpoint, but the best part was being able to make new friends and new relationships that will prove fruitful in the days ahead,” Chief Information Officer and Facilities Manager Dr. Werner Lumm said.
Kelly Greenwood, one of six members of the IBBI Board of Directors, was foreman for the group. Greenwood said IBBI has arranged for 2-to-4 volunteer building projects each year since 2001. The work sites have been both domestic (churches, camps, mission agencies, Christian colleges) and international (Haiti and the Dominican Republic, with a project planned soon for Spain).
There have been as many as 25 volunteers for large projects. In those instances, the crew can be split in half and spend two weeks at the site. The volunteers include expert plumbers, electricians, and others from nearly every area of construction.
“We have guys with many different abilities, but they’re all willing to do other things if that is what’s needed,” Greenwood said. “A church we built in Haiti withstood the earthquake there. We were able to save a camp in Arizona $25,000 by pulling underground wires. We’ve renovated offices. We have tackled about every kind of project you can think of.”
Maranatha Director of Development Steve Board has been on the IBBI board for five years. It was Board who first suggested that Lumm contact IBBI Board Chairman Thomas Shafer in November of 2011.
“As much money as this saved us, the most helpful thing this week was the encouragement to the folks on our campus,” Board said. “To see that people want to volunteer to come here and do that … it’s a tremendous blessing.”
The weather was cooperative and no unexpected difficulties were encountered during the Melford project. The college grounds crew installed and removed tarps and cleaned up two layers of discarded shingles and other materials, allowing the roofers, and Facilities Management liaison Chuck Cole, to stay on the job.
The IBBI volunteers included Kelly and Jason Greenwood, Steve and Michael Mineo, Carey Stokes, Christian Reed, Steve Boozer, Billy Hall, and Stephen Sailors. None of the men—from Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina—had previously visited Maranatha.
“We can’t say enough about the coordination and the hospitality,” Greenwood said. “There is no way we could have eaten all the food they brought us. We were very pleased with our time here.”