Over the next four months, Holston Habitat for Humanity will welcome hundreds of volunteers from eight area faith groups to build a Habitat Faith Build home at 440 Hamilton Street in Johnson City.
With Christian and Muslim volunteers, this project brings different faith traditions together to accomplish a shared and faithful purpose, a first for Holston Habitat according to the organization’s community outreach director Trish Patterson
“This is our fourth Faith Build,” Patterson said. “But this is a unique Faith Build because it is interfaith. Christians and Muslims will come together to help build this home, so we’re thrilled to be part of our first interfaith Habitat Faith Build.”
In addition, three groups will volunteer for the first time with Holston Habitat. Antioch Baptist Church, Calvary Church, Covenant Presbyterian Church, Grace Fellowship Church, Munsey United Methodist Church, Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church and University Parkway Baptist Church will join together with the Muslim Community of Northeast Tennessee to complete the project.
While most volunteers will provide construction labor, others will prepare and serve lunch each day, and offer prayers for each other and for the family.
“We’re sure thankful that folks from each of these groups will work together and do what it takes to build a home for this family,” says Art Weekes, the Habitat Faith Build’s Construction Site Supervisor. Weekes will direct the work of the volunteers who pitch in to complete the project.
If all goes according to plan, Patterson said March 17 will be a day to remember.
“We’re going to invite four or five representatives from each of the eight faith groups to come back and get the house under roof,” Patterson said. “We’re going to have an old-fashioned wall-raising right here on the site. That is exciting.”
When finished, this Faith Build home will be sold to Ryan and Olivia, who will purchase the home for their family using a 0% interest Habitat mortgage.
“We’re excited to build for this good family here,” said Art Pearce, Holston Habitat’s Executive Director. “We’re excited to do a partnership in a creative way. It’s going to be an exciting project.”
Ryan and Olivia will be helping to build their new house as they are able. The couple will move into the home with their three children as soon as it is completed.
“Our mission is putting God’s love into action by working alongside homebuyers to provide a hand up, not a hand out,” says Connie Whitaker, a Holston Habitat Board Member.
“We are so excited that Ryan and Olivia’s Habitat home will be the 282nd house built or repaired by Holston Habitat since 1985,” Mandy Penz, Habitat’s Volunteer Coordinator added. “We always remember that we can only build like this because of the awesome Habitat volunteers who work so hard.”