Beaufort News

On a mission: SC volunteer group helps overhaul Okatee Baptist Church

Volunteers with "South Carolina Campers On Mission" have been working on repairs to -- and camping out near -- Okatee Baptist Church, which sustained major water damage.
Volunteers with "South Carolina Campers On Mission" have been working on repairs to -- and camping out near -- Okatee Baptist Church, which sustained major water damage. Staff photo

Okatee Baptist Church got a really raw deal.

Their building is less than a decade old, but due to poor construction by a subcontractor, who church leaders say has left town, it has sustained major water damage. Things got so bad the stucco siding on the large building, on North Okatie Highway in Ridgeland, needed replacing. Other needs included new ceiling tiles and paint, and drywall repair.

"We have worried with this because of the leak and ceiling tiles damaged, and walls damaged," Jim Leber, a deacon at the church, said Tuesday while standing outside the church with workers buzzing behind him.

Those people were volunteers from "South Carolina Campers On Mission", a Christian volunteer group whose good deeds include construction and disaster relief. The group heard about the problems facing Okatee Baptist Church from a friend of church member Parker Sutler. That friend volunteers with "South Carolina Disaster Relief", which has worked with Campers On Mission.

"It's a blessing. It's an answer to prayer that we get this finished," said Leber of the work Campers On Mission is doing on the church, which includes replacing the stucco siding with metal siding.

If that sounds pricey, it is.

"We had one bid at $60,000 as a turnkey," Leber said of a quote for the whole project . "I'm not sure what we'll spend to do this but nowhere near that, a third of it if even that."

The foreman on the project, Jack McCormick of Anderson, said although there might be plenty of labor and sweat involved, what he and his peers do is not work.

"A lot of people say that we are blessing them by coming and providing this service, but it is honestly exactly the opposite," said McCormick, Construction Missions Coordinator with the North American Mission Board. He has been a full-time volunteer for 12 years.

"It's just an incredible good feeling to know that we've used the gifts that God's given us to help others out."

  Comments