Volunteers will build new Richlands church in just 24 hours

RICHLANDS, N.C. (WNCT)–A big undertaking is happening in the small community of Richlands as hundreds gather to build a church in an unconventional time frame.

Richlands United Pentecostal Church will be built in just 24 hours. More than 400 volunteers gathered along Apostolic Way to begin work early Friday morning.

“It’s just a great example of what can happen when people work together,” J.R. Sellers, a volunteer and pastor of the Spirit of Life Church in Kinston, said.

Pastor Matthew Drake’s church started as a bible study at the Richlands McDonald’s. It then moved to a rental space in Richlands that could only hold around 60 people.

“To be able to have our own building, it says a lot about this community,” Pastor Drake said. “We’ve had hundreds of people who have told us, we were waiting for a church.”

The new building will be 35 by 85 foot and can seat 99 people. It will have offices, a kid’s church, nursery and a sanctuary.

“I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t seen it,” Pastor Drake said. “It really goes to show that when you have people who have a like mind to do something and they have the same common goal, anything can be accomplished and it’s pretty impressive.”

The Church in a Day program is part of the United Pentecostal Church International’s North American Missions Department.

This is the 131st church to be built across the nation in just one day. It’s an impressive undertaking Terry Long, church in a day coordinator, said.

“It brings unity to our fellowship and awareness to the community that this congregation is here,” he said. “This church is here. They’re staying.”

It’s being built at 1/3 of the cost thanks to sponsors such as C & S Paint, CertainTeed, Mohawk Carpet, Hinkley Lighting, Sloan Valve,  Tim’s Heating and Air Conditioning & Beyerdynamic. Several other local churches have also rallied to the cause including Spirit of Life Church in Kinston, the Pentecostals of Burgaw, and the Pentecostals of Wilmington.

The church will be completed Saturday afternoon, just in time for Sunday morning service.

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