SAN ANTONIO - Volunteers ripped out paneling and combined their handiwork skills to assist a church during the Texas Baptist Family Gathering.
The 91-year-old Harlandale Baptist Church building has been in need of an updated interior and exterior for some time, said Dan Trevino, who has been the church's pastor for 10 years.
Texas Baptists teamed up with San Antonio Baptist Association to provide a group of volunteers who signed up for the mission opportunity in the exhibit hall of the Family Gathering.
The volunteers prepped the worship area for a new paint job, which Trevino said will bring openness to the room. He hopes the remodel of the building will show the community that the members take good care of the facility and will draw in people to the church and its ministries.
For volunteer DeRema Dunn from Mimosa Lane Baptist Church in Mesquite, there was no second-guessing about taking the opportunity.
"Missions is about going and doing," she said. "This was an opportunity to go and do, and I like to do that."
Harlandale member Eileen Fox has been at the church for 48 years. She and her husband continue to faithfully attend the church even though most of their friends moved away years ago.
"This is where God called us to serve," she said.
Fox put her degree in home economics to use as she provided food for the Texas Baptist volunteers. As a long-time member, she is excited to see the building get a new, updated look.
"I think it's our responsibility as Christians to keep God's house looking good," she said.
The church values community outreach and education. A college-preparatory charter school leases part of the building, and the church houses a thrift store in which all of the proceeds go to help feed people in the community.
"This was a real blessing to have Texas Baptists come out," Trevino said. "If the church is being taken care of, we feel the community will pick it up."
By Leah Allen, Texas Baptists Communications Intern