Galloway church built in just one week

Messenger photos by Whitney Wilson Coy
Two-hours into the first day of construction, the frame is almost complete on the new 7,487 square-foot structure. The sound was deafening, as 300 workers, hammers in hand, worked simultaneously.
Twenty-four hours into construction, the building was taking shape by Tuesday morning.
So many hands moving at once can be confusing, but with cooperation such as this, the frame of The Church in galloway was up by lunch on the first day.
Volunteers from the Baptist Church Builders of Texas use teamwork to install a window.
With 300 people working at once, it was hard to find a job to do at times. These volunteers wait to releive others.
Forty-eight hours after work started, construction was progressing at a rapid pace. Workers showed up early Wednesday morning, despite the mud from storms the previous evening. To see pictures of the completed project, visit after July 23.

A local church will soon have a new place to call home – and it’s happening at lightning speed.

The Church in Galloway, which has held its services at Westland High School since its inception in 1997, is enlisting help from an organization across the country to make it happen.

The Baptist Church Builders of Texas began in 1978. With 57 volunteers, they traveled from Texas to Dillon, Mont. and in one week, built a church.

Since that time, the organization has spent the third week in July of every year traveling to a different part of the country to help a church in need.

The number of Church Builders has grown dramatically since it began. Today, they have over 300 people in their organization.

Each year, their roster grows, as appreciate members of churches they have helped vow to travel with them the following year.

Members are, for the most part, not skilled carpenters. They are average people with average jobs, who donate their hard-earned vacation time each year to help the greater-good. A small number of skilled carpenters are present to lead the work, and everyone else simply follows their lead.

Volunteers provide their own transportation, accommodations and meals. They even bring their own cooking staff to set up on site. They also bring their own tools.

The church provides the land, the materials, and whatever “helping hands” they have free.

The estimated 300 workers descended upon Galloway between July 14 and 15. They began work on the Bausch Road property at 7 a.m. on Monday morning, July 16, and will be finished by Friday, July 20.

The Rev. Brent Bond, pastor of The Church in Galloway, is understandably excited about the process.

“This is a once in a lifetime experience,” he said.

The church purchased the 22-acres of land in Galloway, near Bolton Field, in 2003, but building was put on hold when the Darby Accord building moratorium took effect.

The moratorium, which stopped building on 84-square-miles of land in the western part of Franklin County for over three years, was finally lifted in July of 2006, when the final version of the plan was adopted.

The plan now lays out land use and preservation strategies for the environment. The Big Darby is home to 38 federally protected species of fish and aquatic life and has been designated as a State and National Scenic River. The new preservation strategies laid out by the plan prohibit development on almost 25,000 of the area’s 55,000 acres.

When the plan was approved and the building moratorium was lifted, this meant the long awaited church for the congregation could finally be underway.

Building a church, however, isn’t cheap. Bond visited a Web site which serves as a mission board for churches and described the plight of his congregation. His prayers were answered – and then some.

The Baptist Church Builders of Texas saw that plea for help and decided that Galloway, Ohio, was where they would spend their summer vacations.

This not only saves the church time, as 300 people working at the same time gets the work done at an unbelievable rate, but it also saves a lot of money.

“I don’t know how much we’ve saved yet, but it’s a lot,” said Bond. “The cost of labor is expensive.”

“I was thinking about it the other day,” Bond added, “and each hour of construction will actually be 300 man-hours. That’s amazing!”

In order to expedite the process, building inspectors will be on-site each day of the construction.

“The only thing that can slow them down is if we don’t have supplies or if the inspections aren’t done,” said Bond.

Once construction is complete, there will still be work to do. There will be several “odds and ends” left to tend to inside of the church.

A parking lot will also need to be built next to the new 7,487-square-foot structure.

The congregation, which boasts around 120 people, hopes to be in their new building by October.

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