New Oregon UMC volunteers helps construct North Carolina Home


At the end of July, a group from New Oregon UMC in Ft. Payne traveled to Transylvania County, in Western North Carolina to help build a house for residents in need of affordable housing. The house in the town of Rosman was the first to be built in a new subdivision being developed by a coalition of non-profit organizations.

The mission team of 50 included members of New Oregon and their family members and friends. Thirty people in the group helped with the construction while the other 20 assisted the project by cooking meals and providing other team support.

A few team members were construction professionals. The team leader Jeff Boatwright is a school teacher, but has become familiar with construction through working with mission construction projects.

Over the last 21 years, the New Oregon congregation has help build homes, churches and schools throughout the Southeast.

“We are a very close knit group. We have devotionals nightly and we communicate well,” Boatwright said.

An article in local newspaper, The Transylvania Times, reported on the project and noted:

Communication has to be important when a large group of people is lifting roof trusses into place by hand.

This is much like would be done at an old-fashioned barn raising, instead of with an expensive crane. If there’s one false move, something could go wrong with people balancing bulky objects high above the ground.

Last Tuesday, trusses were put in place without a hitch, leading Little River contractor Mike Bradley to say of the house, “we’ll probably have a lid on it by this evening.”

The work on this home is under the supervision of Bradley, owner of Mike Bradley Builders in Little River.

Alan Keehn, who like Bradley is a member at St. Timothy’s, is the volunteer coordinator at the church and was on the site this week.

New Oregon team members say they enjoyed each other’s company and were able to laugh together as they completed the construction project in the summer heat.

The team stayed at nearby St. Timothy’s UMC in Brevard. They had lunch each day under a large tent loaned to the group by a funeral home.

Together the team transformed a concrete slab foundation into a structure with wood floor and a shingled roof in less than a week. A group of local church volunteers continued the project when the New Oregon group returned home to Alabama.

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