Baptist and Reflector
CHATTANOOGA — A group of Tennessee Baptist volunteers worked hard over the summer months to help transform the Baptist Collegiate Ministry building at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.
Mark LeMay, properties management specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, and a five-member team from Red Bank Baptist Church in Chattanooga tore out a 25-ton fireplace that was hindering the work of the BCM due to poor space allocation, LeMay said.
The Red Bank volunteers (Doyle Pittman, Chuck Young, Ricky Rector, John Klein and Paula Sanderson) worked three days in hot, muggy conditions to tear out the chimney and fireplace. Afterwards, four volunteers (Robbie McGriff, Ronny Sandlin, David Allen and Hu Morris) from Parkway Baptist Church, Goodlettsville, and Long Hollow Baptist Church, Hendersonville, helped clean out the debris and pour a concrete floor which added about 500 square feet of usable ministry space, LeMay noted.
Steve Roper, BCM director at the campus, expressed appreciation for the work completed by the volunteers. Both teams worked tirelessly and with great attitudes, Roper observed.
“Because of the selfless attitude of these men and women, our ministry has a much more functional facility going forward,” the BCM leader said.
Roper noted that one of the Red Bank volunteers (John Klein) was a student in the BCM when the building was constructed in 1980. “Now, approximately 38 years later he was still using his gifts through the “BSU” (now BCM) as he worked toward our remodeling.”
Roper said the volunteers added approximately 25 percent of useable space downstairs. In addition, their efforts “have given us options that ultimately mean more space for students in worship, during our outreach lunch, and any other programming that we might imagine,” Roper said.
He noted the BCM “is blessed to have a building in the middle of the UT-Chattanooga campus thanks to the sacrificial and visionary thinking of Tennessee Baptists past.
“Now, we have a building better equipped and poised to reach students with the gospel for years to come, also thanks to the generosity and vision of our current generation of Tennessee Baptists,” Roper said.
LeMay estimated that the efforts of volunteers saved the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board more than $30,000. “The volunteers truly help us to be good stewards,” he said.
Teams interested in projects at TBMB entities can contact LeMay at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.