By Robert Lemoine, Special to the Message
BERNICE – Volunteers “Raise the Roof” for local Hispanic community.
This rural North Louisiana town is home to a joint effort to build a church for Hispanic Baptists under the operating authority of the First Baptist Church of Bernice.
Work began Sept. 17 on a cleared lot to raise the Nazareth Spanish Mission Church. Church members along with other volunteers had the foundation ready when the building crews arrived.
Bill Temple, along with his wife Joyce, are the onsite building coordinators for Louisiana Baptist Builders.
Barry Joyner, Director of Missions for Concord Baptist Association, contacted Randy Ray with Kingdom Builders about helping the project.
The Kingdom Builders stepped it up by raising the extra funds needed to upgrade the roof from shingles to metal.
Monday morning was a “wash” due to the rain that drenched Union Parish, but as the rain lifted, so did the building.
Between lunch on Monday and noon on Friday, the walls were completed with siding, the metal roof was on with a steeple, and the electrical work was roughed in.
Over 90 volunteers came from 34 different churches to help get this building in the dry.
The 40 something members of this Hispanic church currently use the Fellowship Hall at the First Baptist Church to conduct services.
At the end of October when the final inspections are done, the congregation will be ready to hold services in their own debt free building.
Although Hispanics make up only 4.2 percent of the Union Parish population according tohttp://quickfacts.census.gov, their numbers are close to 1,000.
Most of these residents have been here for at least a decade in various industries such as farming, chicken processing, landscaping, and construction.