Texas Baptist Men volunteers help local church

Image: Don Six was the lead carpenter on the Central Baptist Church job. He has been with TBM Retiree Builders for 20 years.

Don Six was the lead carpenter on the Central Baptist Church job. He has been with TBM Retiree Builders for 20 years. (Karen Mathiowetz)

Central Baptist Church is building a new Family Life Center on the corner of South Ward Street and Travis Street in Italy. The Texas Baptist Men (TBM) Retiree Builders came to town and stayed two weeks to help with the project. An army of men and their wives in 19 campers rolled into town to begin the work. Some of the volunteers commuted daily to help. There were at least 25 builders not including their wives here each day. Several Central members worked along side the volunteers each day.

Don Six is the State Coordinator of Church Builders and was the lead carpenter on the Central project. He and his wife Darlene are from Nocona, Texas and have been volunteers with TBM for 20 years.

“I am a volunteer builder with TBM,” said Six. “We travel all over Texas and do about 10 projects each year. I love helping churches and their members with jobs they need assistance with.”

When a church contacts TBM for help, they decide if the project is feasible or not. If they decide they can help, the job is scheduled 4-6 months in advance. Within the group of Retiree Builders there are brick masons, master plumbers, master electricians and carpenters.

Jessie Darrett, a Master Electrician from Dallas, has been a TBM Retiree Builder since 2012.

“I started out wanting to help in West, Texas after the explosion,” said Darrett. “I am happy volunteering with Texas Baptist Men. The guys are pretty awesome. Their faith and commitment are contagious. We are like a big family.”

The builders also assist with other projects. The Retiree Builders built a chapel inside one of the state prisons. They had no contact with the inmates while they were there. This gave the inmates a place to worship.

The Retiree Builders is not the only organization associated with Texas Baptist Men. There are Agricultural Missions, Aviation Fellowship, Church Renewal, Victim Relief Ministries, Water Purification and Western Heritage. They also assist churches with Royal Ambassadors, Challengers and Men’s Ministries.

The Central Baptist members are very grateful for the volunteers. Their help was invaluable and saved the church an estimated $20,000 in labor. Approximately 25 central women prepared noon meals for the volunteers each day during the 2 week period.

“Lots of people are willing to help people they know. These men are some of the rare breed who are willing to help strangers in a way that truly disrupts their own lives,” said Central Baptist Pastor, Joseph Barrett. “They come to a town they don’t know, to a church they don’t know, with a commitment to live there two weeks. It goes to show that the Christian family is truly ever present from place to place.”

No carpentry experience is necessary to be a TBM Retiree Builder. All that is needed is a willingness to serve the Lord. For more information contact Texas Baptist Men at www.texasbaptistmen.org or call (214) 81-2800.