Community pitching in to roof Eglon Church

EGLON — This Saturday the Eglon Church will see a good, old-fashioned barn raising of sorts.

The church, built more than a century ago by the Salvation Army, is getting a new roof and the whole community is pitching in to show support for the family of Barry Bryant, current pastor of the Eglon Church.

"The Bryant family suffered the loss of their 1-year-old daughter in a tragic accident recently," said Locke Morgan, men's ministry director for Kingston Christian Church, who is taking the lead on planning the project.

"We're doing this absolutely to support the Bryant family, they've been through a terrible tragedy. The churches in the area just want to put a big hug around them."

And everyone in the area is invited to help, Morgan said. The Kingston Community Church is even bringing breakfast and lunch to feed all the volunteers.

Work is scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m. and end at 4 p.m.

Morgan said he isn't too concerned with a surplus of people showing up because there's other work that can be done.

"There are projects that can be done besides the roof," he said. "The walls need painting too."

The idea originated over men's breakfast, a meeting where men from surrounding churches come together and talk about what is happening in their local communities.

One of the men had been out to the Eglon Church after the accident and saw all the green metal roofing materials sitting alongside the wooden fence posts.

"All of it was here, but no one was doing anything with it yet," Morgan said.

The current roofing is made out of untreated, rough cedar shingles, more than 20 years old. It will be recycled for kindling and fire stoves.

On Tuesday afternoon Morgan was out at the site with a few working volunteers to finish the steeple — the toughest part of the job.

Bill Hullinger, the project lead, is a mobile missionary who grew up in the area and decided to return for retirement.

He said it feels good to be working again, especially for what this project means.

"We are out here trying to love our neighbor," he said.

The Bryant family lives on the property adjacent to the church.

"We felt this was an outlet for people to do something practical," said Morgan. "It's a way to put to work that desire to help the Bryant family."

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