HAZEL PARK, Mich.—After a devastating flood in 2014, Tabernacle Baptist Church is on the road to recovery with the help of Baptist Builders Club.
On Aug. 11, 2014, heavy rain hit the Detroit area. The volume of rain was too much for storm sewers to handle, and many residential and commercial buildings, including Tabernacle Baptist, flooded. The church’s basement—which included four large classrooms, hallways, breakout rooms, and two bathrooms—found itself under four inches of water. Carpeting, furniture, ministry materials, and the bottom two feet of drywall were all ruined. Damage was so extensive that the ruined property filled six 30-cubic-yard Dumpsters.
“We are a church of about 125 members in a building that used to house a church of 800 members,” says Pastor Richard Yokel. “The flood not only swamped our basement, it swamped our capacity to repair and restore our basement. The insurance coverage was woefully inadequate to address the matter.”
Baptist Builders Club stepped in to help and in November 2014, board members reviewed the church’s needs. It needed workers, materials, and prayer. The board voted unanimously to grant the church $8,700 to purchase construction materials and other supplies to restore the basement to a ministry-ready condition. Baptist Builders Club also coordinated assistance from two churches willing to send volunteers to assist with construction.
After much discussion and organizing of details, on Saturday, Feb. 21, seven men and one young man drove four hours from their home church of Bethel Baptist, Pierceton, Indiana, to install and mud drywall. “They accomplished an extraordinary amount of work!” Yokel says. “Our trustees were very encouraged at the end of that day.”
One week later, a team of six men arrived from Emmanuel Baptist Church, Toledo, Ohio, and pushed the project forward. “They also amazed us as they jumped out of the van and headed right down to our basement,” Yokel says. “These men were focused and efficient! . . . Praise the Lord for His faithfulness and for His faithful servants!”
Yokel says Tabernacle Baptist Church is indebted to the men of Bethel Baptist and Emmanuel Baptist and to Baptist Builders Club. Without the aid of Baptist Builders Club, the church wouldn’t have been able to “come this far this quickly,” Yokel says. “Through our Lord Jesus Christ, we will seek to pay forward [Baptist Builders Club’s] love dividend to other peoples and ministries.”