It all started with a dream and a prayer and it can be finished up with just a little help from neighbors and friends.
A new church is being built at Indian Lake, but with only four volunteers doing all the work it’s taking longer than expected. Four good men have practically built a whole church with their bare hands over the past two years. Pastor Don Faulder, 74, of Indian Lake Baptist Church and church members Garland Wilkerson, 83, Ben Baum, 70, and Donnie Day, 70, have done tremendous work but need some help to finish the job on time.
These dedicated, tireless gentlemen, who are not what you would really call “spring chickens,” have labored for the past two years, week after week working full days, five days a week and sometimes into the night building this church from the ground up.
“We really would like to be able to open the church this spring. With a big last minute push this winter we could do it, but only with the help of the community, said Pastor Don. “We desperately need some help and would really appreciate any help from volunteers in the community to come out and give us a hand,” added Pastor Don.
If Pastor Don and his loyal three-man crew don’t receive any volunteer help it will probably be another year or two the men will have to work to finish the church. Pastor Don who formed the Indian Lake Baptist Church back in 1969 was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 12 years ago and ALS about 18 months ago hopes with the grace of God that he will see the completion of his longtime dream of building this new church come to fruition and perhaps even pastor in it for a while.
The church currently has no actual building of their own to conduct worship services. Since 2015, the church has conducted services at the Shoftshall funeral building. “ Our previous church building was built in the late 1800’s , was deteriorating and unfortunately had to be demolished,” said Pastor Don.
Twenty-two years ago, Pastor Don began his mission with only a dream and a strong desire to reach out to the people of the Indian Lake area with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. “The Church was started as a mission in 1996 with our services being held at the Young at Heart Building on 290 West Lake Ave,” said Pastor Don. “Those present at our first service were myself and my wife Betty Faulder, my mother-law Charlotte Bolin, my sister Marsha, Betty Swartz, William & Cheryll Beckham and Jean Phillips,” added Pastor Don.
“We became a growing mission and constituted into a church in 1999 with 25 members. On April 25th 2007 we held our first service in our own building, which we purchased from the Lewistown Trinity United Methodist Church. We had 54 members at the time of our purchase and held our first Baptism as a church on July 17, 2007,” said Pastor Don. “We held services there until the deteriorating 19th century building was demolished. In 2015 we purchased some property on the old school grounds at 340 West Lake Street and erected a building with help from Baptist Builders, a volunteer church building group) and that is where our new church is located now. We are still working on the inside of the church and struggling to finish with only a crew of three,” he added.
Pastor Don and his crew are now at the point where they need to be blessed with some Divine help from the community. “I envision this church being a wonderful asset for the whole community. We will offer Christian worship services, Sunday school and ministry to the community. The Christian facility will also be made available for rentals for weddings, birthday parties and the such,” said Pastor Don.
“I would like to thank all those who would be willing to help us with this important community project and To God the Father and our Lord Savior Jesus Christ be all Glory and Praise,” proclaimed Pastor Don
How to help
The church could use skilled construction workers such as carpenters, dry wall hangers, plumbers, electricians, handymen, painters, landscapers, and general labor helpers. If you would like to volunteer your time and labor and /or donate funds to help Pastor Don and his “crew of three” complete the construction of their church by Spring, please contact ; Senior Pastor Don Faulder at (937) 596-6880 or on his cell at 937-842-5977; Youth Pastor Ben Baum at 937-842-2115; Christian Education Pastor & Doctor of Divinity Garland Wilkerson at (937) 441-6575
Ron Brohm is a regular contributor to this newspaper.