You may have a home improvement project planned this weekend. But, it's probably not as big as the project volunteers are completing in Perry. They're turning an empty lot into a place of worship. It will give the congregation a place to call home after years of temporary locations.
As the sun came up in Perry, volunteers from around the state came to a lot to pitch in. Deoner Lewis says, "I am going to try to get in there and really do some work." She’s from Washington in Eastern Iowa and is one of three hundred volunteers ranging from regular church members to experienced plumbers, electricians and general contractors.
They're building the Calvary Tabernacle Church in less than thirty hours. Site Supervisor Lynn Spicer says, “It's a bit overwhelming."
The walls went up around 7 a.m. Spicer says, “Raised in four minutes, and braced.” Moments later workers rushed inside to form the rooms.
Pastor Gregg Davison says, "We've got three classrooms, two bathrooms, our Baptismal, our Sanctuary that seats a little over 100 people."
The 2,900 square foot building topped with a 158 pound steeple will give the small congregation a permanent place to worship. More than 100 day long builds like this have happened around the country, but Pastor Davison says this is a first in Iowa. He says, "Lots of people told me it couldn't be done, but we're going to show them it can be. It won't be done by one man, obviously, but by everyone pulling together."
The church is scheduled to be finished by 3 p.m. Saturday. Davison says, "We actually have our first service on Sunday." That will take place at 4 p.m at the new church at 1802 North Street in Perry.
Davison says the building will cost the church about $200,000. He says they're saving at least $100,000 with the free labor.