September 29, 1999

HAROLD PIERCE (left) of Bullard Southern Baptist Church and Dick Jarrett of Faith Baptist Church in Chandler frame in the walls for a new chapel at Breckenridge Village. (Photos by Orville Scott)

Breckenridge chapel is
labor of love for volunteer builders

___By Orville Scott
___Texas Baptist Communications
___TYLER--It's a labor of love for Texas Baptist Men Builders returning to Breckenridge Village of Tyler this fall to construct a chapel for Texas Baptists' first campus for adults with mild to moderate mental retardation.
___Many of the volunteers, often described as "tireless retirees" and "ageless wonders," helped build six residences, an administration building and a vocational building to launch
KELLIS WHITE of First Baptist Church in Athens, handles a drill during contruction.
Breckenridge Village's ministry in 1997.
___Owned and operated by Baptist Child and Family Services of San Antonio, Breckenridge Village is located on 70 acres of land given by Jean Breckenridge of Tyler, who has a mentally challenged son.
___Currently, Breckenridge is home for 27 residents who have the satisfaction of doing things with other people and earning a paycheck, said Administrator Dwight Evans. Plans call for expanding facilities to care for more than 100 mentally challenged adults.
___"Society tends to disable people more than they are," Evans said. "God has given each
COLLIN KENNEDY (left) and Brian Wylie of Breckenridge Village (above right) greet Kevin Dinnin, president of Baptist Child and Family Services in San Antonio, which sponsors Breckenridge Village.
of them something special. If we put them in the right setting, it's amazing what they can accomplish."
___Texas Baptist Men Builders, since its founding by the late Olen Miles of Austin 20 years ago, has grown to more than 800 couples.
___The volunteers have built or remodeled facilities for more than 500 churches, encampments and other Baptist ministries and expect to do more than 40 projects this year.
___A sign at the building sites reads: "Texas Baptist Men: Building for the Glory of God." They live at the construction sites in mobile trailers.
___While the men build, their wives, who call themselves "grandmas on wheels," minister to the needy in the community. In one of the cottages at Breckenridge, they are making clothes for needy children.
___ Breckenridge's chapel will be named for the late Bob Rogers of Tyler, who set up a charitable foundation that provided the funds for the building.
___Bill Pigott of Glenview Baptist Church in Fort Worth, coordinator for the project, said he expects the chapel to be completed by the end of October.
___Along with other volunteers, more than 30 retired couples have served, including 86-year-old Abner Bryant of Tyler, who has helped construct new facilities for more than 100 churches that otherwise could not afford them.
SUE MCCAMBRIDGE (above) of Spring Woods Baptist Church in Houston is one of Texas Baptist Men Builders wives making clothes for needy children while their husbands erect a new chapel.


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