Taking a leap of faith

Published 11:05 am Monday, June 27, 2005

By By Adam Prestridge
It's safe to say that all Christians know that Jesus is a carpenter.
But it's not safe to say that all Atmore residents know Atmore Apostolic Church pastor Harlan Morgan is one as well.
If you're not a believer, just drop by the church's facility located at 5784 Hwy. 31 and see what Morgan, along with members of his church, have done to the church's aging fellowship hall.
"The building is about 26 years old and I felt like and several of the other people in the church felt like we needed to upgrade the building," Morgan said. "I think that the church and its facilities should be the nicest place in town, that's how I feel. We were using the building as it was, but it just needed an upgrade. It had the old-type paneling, the sheetrock in the ceiling was starting to sag in places; it just needed upgrading."
Rather than just patching up some of the problems, the church congregation started raising funds at the first of the year, to remodel the facility.
"I told them when we got to a certain amount, we would get started and then we would raise the rest to complete the project," Morgan said.
Work started on the 3,000 square foot fellowship hall on May 9. A covered drive thru is being added between the church and the fellowship hall and two bathrooms with two stalls and two sinks each and two storage rooms are being added onto the fellowship hall. The kitchen is also being renovated and the dining hall is being increased in size
"It looks like when I draw it out on paper, with the table sizes and how many people we can sit at the table, it looks like it will seat 126," Morgan said.
An evangelist quarters will also be added, which will include a bedroom, living room, dining area, bathroom and study area with bunk beds.
Morgan is saving the church a lot of money by doing a bulk of the work.
"We're doing most of the labor, me and some of the people from the church," Morgan said. "Of course, like for finishing the concrete and stuff like that, we've got to hire professionals to come in and do it. When we get ready to hang sheetrock, we'll have professionals come in and do that."
Morgan, along with his father and brother, built several homes on the side prior to moving to Atmore.
"I've built several homes myself in Louisiana, so I have the carpentry experience," Morgan said. "So we're saving a lot."
Prior to starting the project, Morgan held a meeting with the church to vote on doing it. It was a unanimous decision.
Without the outpouring support of the church's congregation, Morgan said it would have never left the drawing board.
"Every family has done something to help; fundraisers or given personally," Morgan said. "We didn't have a night where we said 'who will give this much' or have them write down how much they'll give, I didn't do that. But just talking about it and seeing the progress, every family in the church has given something. Of course, some can give more and some can't give as much."
As for the project itself, Morgan believes its going well.
"The heat kind of knocked the wind out of us a few days, out there with those shovels, getting ready to pour (the drive thru)," he said. "I feel like its progressing. We've really done a lot. You're not seeing that much because we're still in the tearing out phase on the inside, but once start going up with it, there will be a difference."
The renovation will hopefully be completed by the end of August just in time for the church's youth revival the first week of September.
Morgan hasn't planned any official church workdays, but believes one or two would help keep the project on schedule.

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