A group of retirees from three states are spending most of the next two weeks helping build the interior for a Yukon church.
The group, Volunteer Christian Builders, arrived in Yukon on Aug. 3 and will be here through Aug. 17.
They are framing the interior of The Good Fight Church, located on 500 E. Main St.
The church, which was formed more than three years ago, was gifted the former Yukon bowling alley a couple of years ago.
Since then, the church’s members have worked diligently to remodel the 25,000-square-foot facility.
So far, they have created a lounge area, several offices and a community area.
But the church’s sanctuary is still a work in progress.
The sanctuary is an area that once was home to solid wooden bowling lanes.
The lanes have been removed, new water and gas lines have been installed and plumbing has been roughed in.
But for the most part, the area is still a blank space, occupied by material waiting to become walls and ceilings.
The church has yet to hold a service inside the building. It rents the sanctuary at Canadian Valley Baptist Church to hold its Saturday evening service.
Minister John Phipps said they don’t have enough finished space at their church to hold services.
The church has about 100 active members, and dozens of others who are occasional participants.
But that is all about to change.
A crew of eight volunteers plans to work for the next several days framing the church’s children’s ministry area as well as the sanctuary.
Local volunteers will be responsible for finishing up the project with electrical, plumbing and drywall.
Doug Lacey, the vice president of Volunteer Christian Builders, said the crews will be here through Friday completing as much of the church as possible.
“We will get as much done as we can in two weeks. In most cases, we are able to get everything accomplished that the church wants us to do,” Lacey said.
The group, which has about 800 members, doesn’t charge for its work. They also are not reimbursed for transportation costs or housing.
They do ask that the church provides two meals a day, but even that isn’t required.
The average age of the crew, Lacey said, is between 68 and 72. Most had other professions before volunteering for the program.
“The Lord has called us to do this. Every person on this job feels that the Lord has called them to do this,” he said.
The organization was formed in 1984 in Colorado when the group helped with an old-fashioned church-raising.
Since then, they have built thousands of churches.
Last year, more than 75 were constructed. So far in 2018, the group has built 40.
“A lot of people wonder why we do this. We get a blessing because we meet the Lord’s people. We meet the minister and the members. Each church is a different family.
“We get to see the different cultures and the different ways people worship the Lord Jesus, and a lot of people don’t get to see that,” Lacey said.
Phipps said VCB’s participation will move the project along significantly.
“Financially, it saves us thousands of dollars to have someone come in and provide free work and be able to do this legitimately. … They know what they are doing,” he said.
In addition, it is a momentum-changer for the congregation.
“The spirit and the heart behind what we are doing is renewed and refreshed to see progress like this happening. Our congregation gets excited about this, and it helps us move forward and do God’s work,” Phipps said.