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Board of Missions Contractors
The North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church
                                             - John Paul "JP" McGuire, General Contractor

The Board of Missions Contractors is a licensed construction company, within the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church.
(John Paul McGuire is employed as the director of construction.  This web site is the property of Mr. McGuire, and is not an official medium of the United Methodist Church.)

Our goal is to enable the United Methodist congregations of eastern North Carolina enhance their ministry of service, through the dreaming and design, the implementation of, and the carrying through of construction projects.  Our work encompasses any form of church related property, and runs the gamut of historic preservation to new construction.  
We work with, and coordinate the efforts of, professional contractors and volunteers alike.
The Volunteer is the back bone of our work, and we invite you to join us, and to celebrate the enthusiasm of working together to the further glory of our Lord, Jesus Christ and our faith commitment.

Current Project Updates
Autumn & Winter 2013
For information on project updates -
Call 919-920-7282 for information
Follow us on Facebook: 'Board of Missions Contractors'
 Evansdale UMC, Wilson
Clarks UMC, New Bern 
Lake Waccamaw UMC, Lake Waccamaw
Hickory Grove UMC, Clio, SC

6 October 2013
At Evansdale UMC in Wilson, NC we are in the midst, this week, of both interior and exterior trim work - lots of positions for volunteers!  We are working Monday through Friday. The drywall is completed and the interior doors are hung.  The interior trim work includes casing, base, chair-rail and crown molding.
The bathroom tile work is also going on this week!

And at Clarks UMC in New Bern, the windows and exterior doors are being installed and the HVAC rough-in should be completed this week.  We are on schedule for the electrical rough-in to begin on Tuesday, 12 November - and run through the week.  Volunteers are needed to help pull wire!

 Above:  Installation of the Clerestory windows, 30' above the sanctuary floor.
Left: Mr. Tom installing dead-wood blocking.
Below: the massive and impressive wood structural engineering!

13 October, 2013
The brick exterior is going up at Clarks in New Bern, and the HVAC and window installation is progressing.  But there has been so much rain that the brick work is slowed down.

If the weather would cooperate with us, we would probably have one more full week of brick work to complete the facade.  

Once all of the HVAC duct work is installed and wrapped in insulation we will still have to build the chase to house them in - and then hopefully we will be able to move along with the electrical rough-in.

Hoping to begin the chase building around Thursday, 17 October - and for the electrical rough-in to begin Monday, 21 October.

And at Evansdale UMC in Wilson: we passed the framing inspection and the HVAC, electrical and plumbing rough-ins this past Thursday!  Yea!!!!!  

Insulation is scheduled for Tuesday, 15 October; and the drywall will begin on Thursday, 17 October.

At Lake Waccamaw UMC we are seeking a foundation/excavation sub-contractor to help us get started.

7 October 2013
What a beautiful day Sunday was along the shores of Lake Waccamaw in North Carolina:
And on this beautiful day that the Lord has granted us, we had a groundbreaking for the new Fellowship Hall and Narthex at Lake Waccamaw UMC on the shores of this beautiful lake.

Following the 11:00 Service, a mortgage burning took place on the back side of the church's education wing in celebration of paying off the mortgage on that previous project.

But you know what they say about ashes-to-ashes!!!!

So while the mortgage for the education building is burned and left in a dish of ash - celebrating the church coming out of debt ......

We journeyed through the building to the front........

And celebrated going back into debt, with the groundbreaking for the new Fellowship Hall and Narthex - structurally positioned to take full advantage of the panoramic view of the lake beyond:

Pastor Sam Loy (& his grandson, Sam) along with Bishop Hope Morgan Ward and District Superintendent Francis Daniel led the congregation in the words and prayers for this endeavor.

The congregation and friends partaking in the groundbreaking.

And so now, with the groundbreaking at Lake Waccamaw UMC we now have THREE projects underway simultaneously.
So, volunteers, you have three locations to come work with us at:
Clarks UMC, New Bern, NC
Evansdale UMC, Wilson, NC
Lake Waccamaw UMC, Lake Waccamaw, NC

What's our schedule?:
7 - 11 October:             Brick-laying and window installation, and HVAC
                                     at Clarks UMC: No volunteers here this week.
7 & 8 October:             Plumbing rough-in completion at Evansdale UMC.
8 - 11 October:             Framing completion at Evansdale UMC.
                                     - Volunteer opportunities at Evansdale
7 - 18 October:             Logistic scheduling at Lake Waccamaw UMC.

For more specific information on how you can plug in with our work, just give JP a call at 919-920-7282, or email him at jpmcguire@nccumc.org.

23 August 2013

Sometime in the not so distant future, some historian is going to write about 2013 as the rainiest summer season ever in the southeast!  But in spite of the rain, we have made progress (albeit, slow!)

At Clarks UMC near 
New Bern:

The trusses were completed last week and the roofing crews and volunteers jumped on the fascia and roofing tasks as quickly as they could -
sometimes having to run inside to dodge a passing downpour...

The modified upper roof - the roof of the clerestory - received 4 cutouts for fresh air vents.  Kind of looks like a UFO!  But these are confined to the 2 back side roof plains, and now that they are finished they really don't show up too much.

The gable ridges received ridge vents.

The entire soffit perimeter is vented.

And the shingles are "High Velocity" - Wind zone, hurricane rated architectural shingles.

The roof is now complete - as of today, 23 August!  And the HVAC contractor is making a mess of the interior - thank goodness.  Plumbing rough-in is complete; and the HVAC rough in is expected to be completed by this coming 

Here's a view of the Altar framing - looking down from the clerestory.  Now, that's an Altar!!!  It is designed to be large enough to accommodate not only the choir, but a full band as well - on occasion.  Mr. Tom is standing in front.  Tom is our ever so faithful volunteer who travels with us from site to site across the Conference.  He celebrated his 85th birthday this past week!

Meanwhile! - we held a Saturday work day over at Evansdale UMC near Wilson this past weekend.  Talk about dodging th showers! - the rain leading up to Saturday morning was so torrential I was sure we would be rained out.  But the skies stopped about 5:30AM and we began to gather by 6. There were a few spitting showers - but they didn't stop us.  We completed the wall sheathing by about 11.  The bottom of the clouds broke loose again shortly thereafter.

The trusses arrived at Evansdale Wednesday, and we now have the roofers schedule to install them and the roof a week from Monday.

Two jobs going really great.  I have been so blessed by the volunteer response at both jobs.

And it is with a heavy heart that we ask you for your prayers for one of our faithful volunteers at the Clarks UMC near New Bern.  Billy has been with the project from day 1.  A few days ago, a man in New Bern began randomly shooting at a utility company road clearing site.  Before it was over, 6 people were injured.  One of those injured was Billy, who received two gun shot wounds - one to the head.  He is in the hospital in Greenville, NC.  Please keep him and his family, and the Clarks Church family in your prayers.

23 July 2013

The roof trusses are going up at Clarks UMC near New Bern!

The photo is taken from inside the future sanctuary, looking up into what will be a clerestory.  The roof structure is expected to take a few more days.

(photo by Tim Webb)

And at Evansdale UMC outside of Wilson, the walls are complete and the sheathing has begun.

The Evansdale trusses are on order and should be ready for installation in a couple of weeks.

15 July 2013
The rains have parted and we are FINALLY able to get on with the construction - now so very delayed on both sites:

Trusses are delivered at Clarks UMC in New Bern - a pile of trusses almost as high as the columns.  We will begin setting them on Wednesday.

...and the first trusses go into place:

And walls start going up at Evansdale:

28 June 2013

The wheelbarrow hammock!
In what has seemed like a rare moment in these many days of heavy rain and construction delays - we actually were able to finish the footing dig and pass the inspection.  
Andrew, above, takes a break waiting on the concrete truck to come.

We have had DAYS of rain, for what has seemed to many of the long time residents, a much rainier season than usual! - causing us severe delays at the Evansdale UMC project in Wilson.
But with a break from the storms This week finally saw a flurry of activity.
(right) Melvin ponders over some of the challenges of replacing an old HVAC unit under the existing Sanctuary building with new equipment - and taking a much needed breather from the close quarters of a 2' crawl space that has been inundated with flood waters!  (Below) Crews work the footing pour after we passed the footing inspection this morning.  By the end of the day all rebar and anchor bolts were set.

4' Anchor Bolts!  Now there's a first.
All part of the new hurricane tie-down requirements.  In the hurricane prone area of "down east" we have to anchor the frame walls all the way through the foundation walls to the footings below.

The plumbing crew set the preliminary plumbing lines for the nursery toilet facility and diaper changing area, hand wash sink and water fountain in the new construction area.
All has to be done before the pad pour.

So, for next week: Evansdale will be in the hands of sub-contractors - no volunteers needed until after the 4th of July.
And at Clarks UMC in New Bern - we did the permanent installation of the columns this Thursday and are now ready for the trusses to be set.  It is not anticipated that the trusses will be set until after the 4th of July.


20 June 2013
Both Clarks and Evansdale are active sites at the present!  One day new columns go "up" at Clarks, and the next day old columns come "down" at Evansdale.

The new columns being put in place at Clarks UMC which is a completely new sanctuary in New Bern, NC.  This is a temporary installation. - The permanent install will take place next week.

At Evansdale Mr. Tom stands watch while the skid-steer moves dirt around.  The 2X4's have been temporarily installed to support the porch cover where columns came down earlier in the day to make way for the new concrete pour.  The Evansdale project is an addition that will connect the 100-year old Sanctuary building with the 15-year old fellowship building seen here.

The addition will occupy the 40X50 space between the two buildings.  How is it possible that in such a small, confined location, between two buildings sitting fine for years, we should hit a sink hole!  After we got the big rig unstuck, and took away all of the unstable soil, it took 12 loads of new soil just to bring it back up to grade.

31 May 2013
We had a great couple of days up at New Hope UMC in the New Hope community northeast of Hertford, NC.  Tom (from Wake Forest), Jim (from New Bern) and JP (from Wilson) traveled to New Hope for a 3-day mission to remove a corner of the sanctuary, next to the altar, where moisture and termites had destroyed a portion of the structure of this 204 year old church - and to rebuild the corner, restored to match the historic interior.
The job went well - and our work was accomplished in 2 days instead of 3; and we whole-heatedly thank the church members who kept us fed and gave us evening shelter.

To the left is what the sanctuary corner looked like as we got started.  The damage had surfaced to full view.

The photo above shows the awkward transition between the altar and the choir loft to the rear door.  It's hard to explain, but if you look at the picture to the left, you will make out the altar floor level on the right side of the photo.  From there you step down and then over the protruding choir loft step to the left side of the photo to step over a small barrier to access the rear door.  It made no sense at all! - and we all kept voicing over and over: "what were they thinking" about why it was built that way.  In the renovation we changed the transition to make more sense:

Looking from the rear door, one now enters the red carpet at the altar level and then safely either passes through, or steps up on to the choir loft.

Tom and Jim beginning to remove the old:         The corner now coming out:
                                                                             (Everything had turned to 

Our skills were really put to the test in getting the new lumber cut, notched and fitted to go into place - once we had found solid lumber to connect too!  

We counted our blessings, though, to discover the damage was so contained to just this one corner in a very vertical area, with no horizontal spread along the beams and girders.

The corner refinished!  Everything blended in to look like the original - still needing final painting, that the congregation will take care of.
Some of the molding had to be hand-fashioned on site to match the old.  Historic restoration can be both challenging and very rewarding!

Right: A view of the rather unique 2-story Sunday School classroom galleries overlooking the Sanctuary, behind heavily carved wood walls; 
and below:  The intricate wood ceiling.

New Hope UMC is on the local historic register, and was constructed in 1809 - 
making it 204 years old.

It was a joy to be a part of\
its preservation....

Meanwhile, over at Clarks UMC near New Bern: we did not work this week, but will resume our work there on Tuesday, June 4.

24 May 2013
We had a great week of work accomplished and volunteer turn out.  And this morning we passed our "Sheathing Inspection."  So, one more milestone accomplished.

Bird's eye view from the telehandler.  The OSB Sheathing is completed all around and by the end of the day we had made good head-way on the installation of the insulation board.

Some of the cavities created by corner studs and jacks are unaccessible from inside once the OSB sheathing is installed, so during the installation process volunteers stuffed the cavities with fiberglass insulation.

Next week, Memorial Day week, we will be working at both the Clarks UMC site near New Bern, AND at New Hope UMC in the New Hope community near Hertford.  

New Hope is a 3-day mission construction venture to the New Hope Community northeast of Hertford, NC. Some of the Clarks volunteers are going to be going there with us to help out.  If you'd like to join in the fun for this 3-day mission, give JP a call at 919-920-7282.  We'll be staying in church member's homes while there, and we will be doing interior repairs to the altar area of the sanctuary.

While JP is at New Hope, Tim will be leading the volunteer work at Clarks, continuing with the installation of the insulation board.

11 May 2013
Hey folks! - we're putting together a small crew of volunteers to go to New Hope UMC, northeast of Hertford, NC - way out there in the sound - for some minor structural and finishing repairs inside of this historic sanctuary.
If you are interested in joining in, give JP a call at 919-920-7282.  It will be the last week of May - just bring your tools.  This excursion should last 3 days, and church members will be housing us while we are there.

And this week at Clarks UMC:

The front portico begins to take shape - with the installation of the left and right roof support headers.  Those are just temporary stiff-knees holding them up - until the columns come in.

We continued to work this week on the wall framing - getting a lot done with a fantastic turn out of volunteers - again!.  The Clarks church has really jumped in on this project.  Every day the church provides all the workers with lunch - except this past Wednesday.  The volunteers got wind of J.P.'s Louisiana heritage and persuaded him to cook a jambalaya dinner for everyone.

Most of the top plates were installed by the close of the day on Friday, and the tedious task of installing the blocking between the studs took up much of the week's work - and will continue to do so next week.

WE had two volunteers come up to New Bern from the Lake Waccamaw church:  Chip and Sam drove the 2 1/2 hour trek, sleeping bags in hand, and spent two days with us.  A BIG thank you guys!!
(Chip)                                                          (Sam)

One of the taks for next week will be to install the sheathing around the building, so a "model" was put together on the back corner.

It's a double layer of OSB sheathing and foil sided insulation board.

Billy installing the second row of stud blocking.  There will be 3 rows total, due to the height of the walls.

This week's view from the future front door, through the future Narthex 
and into the future Sanctuary.

Next week's Schedule:  Tuesday - Friday, weather permitting.  Volunteers welcome!

4 May 2013
And the beat goes on.....
Continued with the framing at Clarks UMC near New Bern this week.  With ever faithful volunteers the work has progressed smoothly and in good timing.

Installing headers (above) and Tom and Jim keeping the saw busy.  At one point there were so many teams building at various locations around the building there was a waiting line at the saw.  Bottle-neck, yes - but - a sight that is great to see!

Sorry for the poor quality of the photograph - taken via my cell phone instead of the camera; but I really wanted to get this shot included.  The man in the green shirt is "Sam."  He is a volunteer that came to work at Clarks from Lake Waccamau UMC on Friday.  Lake Waccamau is a 2 1/2 hour drive from New Bern!  Way to go Sam....  We really appreciate the effort and the enthusiasm.

No, we're not playing "jenga!"  The stack of wood, all pre-cut at 14.5" represents the growing stock pile of stud blocks.  The stock pile will grow over the next few days - for the VERY VERY MANY blocks that will be installed between all the studs.

And as Friday came to a close: the latest view from the future front door, through the future Narthex, into the future Sanctuary.

28 April 2013
In spite of having two days of bad weather delays we had a great week and got a lot accomplished!  - Thanks to Clarks getting so many volunteers on the site....

Started setting the plates in on Tuesday, and by Friday the perimeter walls were all standing.  It helps to have about 10 excited volunteers each day!  Even the pastor was on the site, working along side of every one else pretty much the whole time.  It was truly a great crew - such a blessing....

The first wall rises ....  And by the end of Tuesday, we have our first corner.

Vimmey (The Vimster) supervised us to make sure we followed the plans correctly!  He has an amazing skill at reading architectural plans.

The crew that completed the perimeter walls on Friday

Close of work on Saturday and a view of the new sanctuary rising next to the classroom wing and the old sanctuary.

Standing at the future front door looking through the future narthex into the future new sanctuary.  I'm looking forward to the progress shots of this view!

The rear view.  All perimeter walls are in place and the side wings 
are taking shape.

So what is next?: Weather permitting, we expect to resume work on Tuesday, 30 April and work through Friday.  Always welcome the volunteers during the framing stage!  We're in an iffy weather pattern, so call 919-920-7282 to verify a particular day.

20 April 2013
The pad has been poured!  We are now ready to raise the walls - construction is expected to run from Tuesday through Saturday, 23 - 27 April.  Volunteers welcome! - please bring hammers, tape measures, carpenter's pencils and utility knives.  All other tools supplied....
Clarks United Methodist Church: Clarks Rd. in New Bern, NC.
Exit #409 on US Hwy 70 (The Rest Stop Exit) - go 1/2 mile north of the highway on Clarks Rd.

11 April 2013
Foundation walls are in and the entire footprint has been backfilled and tamped.

Relay: passing sand from one bucket            Tamping it in
to another

If the weather cooperates, we expect to lay the plumbing lines in place on Monday, 15 April and then pour the slab on Wednesday.  Volunteers are sought for framing the walls: beginning Monday 22 April - and - we will have a Saturday Work Day on 27 April.
Come join the fun: 106 Clarks Rd., in New Bern.

5 April 2013
Finished up the rebar installation on Tuesday and passed both the soil compaction test and the footing inspection on Wednesday, and poured the concrete footings on Thursday - just got them in before the rains came...

It's a rather complicated footing lay-out and covers an extensive foot-print with limitations for approach on three sides, so we had to incorporate the use of a pumping truck in the process.  Made the process go so much faster!  50 yards of concrete poured and completed in just an hour and a half.

Weather permitting we will begin the foundation wall construction on Tuesday.  Although the masonry walls are sub'd out we will have opportunities for anyone wanting to volunteer on Wednesday and perhaps Thursday: we have a lot of dirt that needs to be moved from inside the project site to outside the foundation walls.  So grab a shovel from home and come on out and have fun with us!

23 March 2013
We finally broke ground for Clarks UMC near New Bern, NC!  Started digging the footings on Monday, 18 March 2013 and continued right through the week.  It's a 5100 square foot sanctuary with some major roof spans, so the footings are rather complicated.  We're still not done digging! - probably one more day - if we hit no more surprises.

J.P. McGuire & Tom Webb digging the footings
(photo by Rand Whitney)

Multiple intersecting footings.  Yea - that was a lot of fun!

One of the "nice" surprises:
Found an old septic tank no longer in use.  Had to bring in the big guns to dig that out of the way.
When we struck the old leaching field we took in the rather aromatic flavors.

Other surprises included striking the water line where the water line was not supposed to be; finding old, no longer in use, water lines; the dump field of an old brick yard; and a rather soft spot where what was supposed to be an 18" deep footing became 5'-0" deep before we struck solid ground.  

Update 22 February 2013
Currently, we are a tale of three churches, with updates to report on at (1) Crossroads, (2) Clarks and (3) Evansdale:
Crossroads is complete!  Handed in the "Welcome Packet" to the church this afternoon - gave them all my keys - and wished them well for their future journey.  Here are the finished project photos:
This is one of the most contemporary structures we have put together - having no architectural connection to the more traditional church facility.  The building is divided into three uses: a sanctuary, a coffee house/internet cafe, and a Parents Morning Out (PMO) day care.

The exterior is a combination of metal siding, rock siding and natural cypress wood siding.  The picture to the left is of the coffee house entrance, where fair-trade coffee from Africa will be the main menu.

Inside the coffee house "Detour" are tables and chairs made by a crafts group in Charlotte.  The benches along the wall are salvaged church pews, found on Craigslist, and refinished only to the point of highlighting the aged distress marks and oiling down.  The floor is an epoxy finish with a high relief on a concrete floor.  

The bar is made of hickory wood front and a black walnut counter top.  The lights are all galvanized pendant lights with cfl's.

(Left) Cute little display case built-in for specialty mugs and a display of coffee bags and other items behind the coffee bar.

And (right)
The Pergola display island:  it separates the entrance to the toilet facilities from the coffee house proper itself, and provides glass shelves for the display of interesting articles.  The storage cabinets below, and the side wall panels are all made of hickory.  The counter top is granite.  And the pergola style beams above are solid 3" X 10" South Carolina cypress. All the wood has been left natural, and given 3 coats of clear gloss polyurethane.

Above, the HVAC vents have been left exposed, contained in spiral vent pipes.

Below: the women's toilet facility (left), and the men's (right) - both with a great deal of tile work on the floors and the walls.  Note in the men's room, the divider next to the sink is a wall-hung, solid, 5/4 block of highly polished black walnut, fabricated in Raleigh.

The children's play area in the PMO (below), and the PMO hallway (right)

Below (left):
one of the PMO classrooms; and 
Below (right):
The PMO nursery.

The PMO toilet facilities - also showing a great deal of tile work:

The exterior of the building.  Detour Coffee House on the left corner, and Crossroads United Methodist Church on the right corner:

(2) Clarks UMC, New Bern -
We applied for the building permits this week for the new sanctuary - so have a week or so to wait on the approval process.  In the meantime we built a tool/equipment storage building on site yesterday.  Took all day!, so I am afraid the "final" picture is in the dark...

Laying out the "parts"                                    Assembling the walls.....

The final product in the dark....

(3) Evansdale UMC, Wilson, NC -
We're still waiting on the architect to finish up the drawings before we can apply for the building permit.  But confident that is about to occur, we got our construction sign up at this 100-year old church where we will be building a classroom addition.


Almost there !!!
Final touches are going on at Crossroads Commons UMC in Hope Mills.  Almost everything is ready for the final, which should take place this coming week:
Painters Little John and Steve finishing up in the
Coffee House/Internet Cafe.....

The Nursery classroom, and the 
children's bathroom:

The pergola display cabinet in the coffee house, made of hickory cabinets and walls, with cypress beams above:

The enclosed drum room and the sanctuary pictured below:

The exterior view:

Update: 12 November 2012
This was certainly a memorable week at Crossroads UMC in Hope Mills.
On the "Good" side of things:
Electrical, Plumbing, HVAC, Alarm rough, Framing and Insulation inspections - ALL PASSED!  And on Saturday, 10 November the drywall installation began.
But on the "Bad" side, the job site was hit by thieves for the 4th, 5th and 6th time, with the 4th being the biggest and most devastating:  The entire 16' tool trailer, and all the tools inside of it - stolen.  That is a $22,000.00 loss.  It's going to be hard to recover from.
But let's focus on the good - and the work continues:

The stone work at the main entrance has begun going on, and is expected to be completed by about Wednesday, 14 November.

While the stonework is being done by a sub-contractor, the other siding is being installed by ourselves - volunteers welcome!  We will be continuing the exterior siding Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, November 12-16.

And at the same time, sub-contractors are installing the drywall...

Metal & Cypress siding being                     Cypress siding being installed on
the left side.                                                  the front.

Sanctuary front area                                    The coffee house bar area

The front Coffee House area                       The PMO lounge

17 Septmber 2012
Full steam ahead at Crossroads!  All metal studs, headers and rafters are installed and the roof is close to being finished.  Interior walls in the new section are being installed.

25 August 2012
(1) Crossroads UMC near Hope Mills, NC:  FINALLY!!!!! The walls are going up.  After months of delays for various reasons, the exterior walls are now going up.  At the same time, interior work continues.  All of the new HVAC lines have been installed in the existing building's classroom/office/toilet rooms area.  Most of the electrical pre-wiring in the existing building is complete.  All concrete is complete.

    Steel is in place and metal studs are going
    up.  Wall and roof work will continue next
    And on the inside of the existing space, the
    ceiling purlins were installed to carry the
                                                       drywall ceiling.

Schedule for next week:
Monday - Friday:                        Sub-Contractor work on walls and roof.
Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday:  Volunteer work inside on framing

(2) St. George UMC, Maxton, NC:
The interior is finished (except for a few glass panes to be installed) and we will be calling for the final inspection this coming week.  There is some exterior work to be completed, but there is no schedule for volunteers at this point.

Archive:  14 July 2012

(1) Crossroads UMC near Hope Mills, NC:  We seem to finally have the steel manufacturing delay worked out and hope to see progress, on-site, in the next two weeks.  In the meantime, work has been continuing with the HVAC installation in the older-building renovation portion of the project.  And the drawing board has heated back up as changes are being reviewed and considered for the kitchen lay-out in the "coffee house" portion of the project - all for the good - with the outcome being an enhanced customer experience.

(2) St. George UMC in Maxton, NC:
Unfortunately, while the pews were in storage at a local warehouse during building renovations, considerable water damage occurred on almost all of the pews - adding to the damage already existing from the old leaking roof at the church.  So now that they have all been reinstalled  -  the restoration of the pews begins!  They are being sanded down, removing most of the water damage, stained with a golden oak oil stain, and then re-varnished.  A little labor intensive - but with great results coming for the church.

With all of the windows back in we are also involved with the installation of interior window trim, and will shortly begin the exterior window trim.  And our sub-contractors are involved with the installation of the exterior hand rails and the final grading.

(1) Crossroads UMC near Hope Mills, NC:
Work continued this past week at Crossroads with a volunteer work day on Saturday, 22 June 2012.  Volunteers were able to get great work done on interior wall construction and ceiling joist placement.
HVAC and electrical work continued during the week.

The upcoming work schedule:
Monday & Tuesday, July 2 & 3:
- ceiling joists
- electrical work
- HVAC installation

Note: Volunteers are certainly welcome.  We're in a very hot weather patern, with excessive heat warning and advisories.  Check to b sure that work has not been canceled!

The Crossroads project is a combination of the renovation of an existing building plus the construction of a new building - doubling the overall size.  While the concrete's been poured, the steel is on delay for the new section.  Pray for us to get this back on track! - a lot of folks are counting on the original 1st of September completion target date.

(2) St George UMC in Maxton, NC:

The windows went back in this week.  Thanks to LEB Glass Studio out of Greenville, SC, the old windows that were damaged have been beautifully restored - and - new windows have been created to add to the overall beauty.

There's quite a bit of trim work to now do to complete the windows, but to see these windows come back in was a real emotional moment on Friday - putting the icing on the cake, and bringing the completion of the project well within view.

The Rose window is new.  In the renovation process it was discovered that the original 19th century framing of the Sanctuary included a Rose window, but no such window had ever been installed.  It seemed appropriate to do so now as a nod to the original concept and a celebration of the reconstruction.  The design concept is the 'cross & flame' logo of the United Methodist faith, rising from the wings of the phoenix - the rebirth of the church building.

Stained glass artist Lou EllenBecham          The newly constructed lounge
Davis working on the reconstructed             window made from a combination
main window.                                                old glass with new.

The east side windows: older windows     A completely new window in the
fully restored and remounted by LEB       east bathroom, designed by LEB to
Glass Studio in new frames built by         blend with the design of the older
Corbett Refinishing out of Wilson, NC.    windows.

The upcoming schedule calls for volunteer work on pew restoration and trim work on Monday and Tuesday, July 2 & 3.

(3) We have unveiled our new job site signs!  One of these in front of each of our two current projects at St. George and at Crossroads:

In addition to the main sign, this secondary one is also posted at St. George:

Update: May 12, 2012:
Work accomplished this week at
(1) St. George UMC, Maxton, NC, and
(2) Crossroads UMC, Hope Mills, NC

St. George UMC, Maxton, NC

What a difference a coat of paint makes!  The interior painting has now been completed (well, except for some touch-up areas!), and the floors have been uncovered again. 

We also completed the installation of the cypress ceiling ribs.
The church pews are scheduled to go back in on this coming Thursday, and the carpet will follow shortly afterward.  We're moving toward the end day - now within sight!!

Still to come: lot's of tile work yet to be completed and a second brick entrance is planned for next week.  The bats are now eradicated out of the attic, and once their "left-behinds" are cleaned out we will complete the attic insulation.
Crossroads UMC, Rockfish Community, Hope Mills, NC

Grading and foundation work for the new addition portion, along with the installation of the temporary electrical power supply took place during the week days.  Inside the renovation section, work continued on the new wall construction, and then on Saturday we had a great showing of volunteers.

One of the reasons this project is on a fast-track schedule! - This little one is registered for the PMO program, scheduled for this facility beginning September 1.  To keep us working, she helped her mom provide a great lunch for the volunteers Saturday, May 12.  Thanks Bella !!!

Update, May 5, 2012
St. George UMC, Maxton, NC
While work continued during the week with both interior painting and tile setting, Saturday was the annual bar-b-que fund-raiser. 

It was very well attended with people from all walks of life and many denominations, from around Maxton and beyond, coming out for good food and good times.  And with sunshine and temperatures in the 80's the weather sure cooperated!

Many of the people attending were anxious to open the doors to get a peek at the work progress.  It was heart-warming to see so many people showing their support for this church and its quest to preserve an important part of our history.

In the meantime.....
Back at the LEB Glass Studio in Greenville, SC, work continues on the restoration of the historic stained glass windows, as well as on the construction of the new ones:

Crossroads UMC, Rockfish, Hope Mills, NC

We had a great turn out for our Sat volunteer work day.  During the week we had continued with the grading for the "new addition" and had begun digging the trenches for the future electrical supply.  On Saturday we completed the electric trench work, continued scraping old vinyl flooring off the concrete pad in the "renovation" section, and began building new walls.

So where are volunteers needed this next week?
Thursday and Friday, May 10 & 11:    St. George UMC, Maxton
Saturday, May 12:                                Crossroads UMC, Rockfish, Hope Mills


April 28, 2012
Work continued during the week with both interior painting and tile setting. We were also able to start building the new wooden side steps and the rear wood landing and ramp.  The real exciting moment to this week, though, was the Saturday work team from John Wesley UMC in Fayetteville, that came out to do landscaping work.  Dirt and sand were moved; trees, shrubs and flowers were planted; mulch was spread - and the job-site RV and equipment trailer were both moved away from the front of the church.
St. George UMC, Maxton

Crossroads UMC, Hope Mills, NC
We have really moved ahead with the demolition of the existing building interior - thanks greatly to the local volunteers from the Crossroads church family coming out and working in the evenings and on weekends, along with the ever-faithful volunteers that help us out from job-site to job-site.  This week also saw the beginning of the grading for the new portion on the project.

The piles of debris are a true sign of progress!

Work Update: Crossroads UMC, Hope Mills, April 23, 2012:
Demolition work has begun with the removal of the interior walls to open up the whole space.  The existing HVAC units have been removed and the gas
has been shut off.  This allows us to get the existing building ready for the renovations, and the exterior area prepared for the new construction - which will start this coming Tuesday.

Work Update: St. George UMC, Maxton: April 23, 2012:

Over this past week our main attention was given to the installation of the cypress wood ribbing in the ceiling.  Unfortunately we didn't have enough to complete the project (!), but all but one was finished.  (More wood is on order.)

Why was cypress wood chosen?  To begin with, when finished with just a clear varnish, cypress is a beautiful, light-colored wood, taking on a bit of a yellowish tone with red, chocolate and olive hues.  The cypress tree is commercially grown in the southeastern United States in a controlled environment where care is given to the replanting-regeneration of the product for future use.  Maxton is in the lumber/Pee Dee Rivers area where cypress trees are fairly common.  The cypress we are using was grown, harvested, processed and dressed all near Pamplico, South Carolina - making it a locally produced product.

When complete, the ceiling ribbing made of cypress will give the look of strength, without being overpowering, or dominating, the interior space as would have happened with a darker wood.

We also completed the construction of the communion rail.  It is made up of three basic layers: the top is the original communion cup holding rail, made of American Oak; it is supported by new American Oak, and the base plate is also made of new American Oak.  The original Oak portion was stripped down and then all Oak portions were given a light "Golden Oak" stain to give a uniform hue.

The turned spindles are made of old wood, Brazilian Mahogany, reclaimed and turned to copy the original spindles that once dressed the choir loft area.  The mahogany was given no stain, and remains in its natural color state.

All of the wood was given a clear, gloss, varnish for completion.  

The choir loft no longer has an open rail.  With the installation of the wheelchair accessible ramp, it made more sense to give the area a solid knee wall.  While this wall is being finished with the same T&G wainscoting as throughout the Sanctuary, it is also being given an American Oak hand rail to blend it with the communion rail.
Last week the interior doors were installed.  Two of the door sets going in are original, double doors, that were removed - stripped of years of paint - refinished and rehung.  These doors served as the models for the new interior doors - all of which have been hand-made in Raleigh, of 100-year old, heart-pine wood.  All wood doors are finished in clear varnish with no stain added.  The older doors are darker, but the styles are the same.

      The old, double doors, above.

      One of the new doors to the left.

We also completed the installation of the interior transom windows, completed the molding installation, and completed the office work station, and have made great head-way on the bathroom tile installation.

April 3, 2012: As this week came to a close, the great moment was, of course, seeing the old cross atop the steeple finally repaired (picture above) - just in time for the Easter weekend.  But lots of other accomplishments were done as well:

The communion rail began going back in.  The previous communion rail was a 1970's modern addition.  The communion cup portion was saved, but the rest of the rail system has been discarded.  The previous altar arrangement included a railing, incorporating a hodgepodge of 4 turned spindles surrounding the choir area.  In the new concept, we took the oldest of the 4 spindle designs and had it copied for the communion rail.  The new communion rail is made up of a solid oak base plate and top plate, with solid mahogany turned spindles made by Caineth Woods of Smithfield, replicating the old spindle, with the communion cup holder board placed on top.  All of this oak/mahogany creation will be left natural and varnished when finished.  (The choir area is now behind a solid knee-wall instead of turned spindles.)
Work continued on the interior molding installation and now 4 of the 5 interior transom windows are installed. 

The new HVAC units went in and that has made a great difference in creating a pleasant, cool, environment to work in!

We also began the tiling work with the tile going on the walls of the East bathroom.

Jan Walden doing tile work                         Some of the tile details

March 30, 2012
As the week came to an end, the crowning glory was seeing the interior transom windows going back in.  Three out of five are re-installed.

Another major milestone for this week
was the installation of the clear-glass
Rose window.  Can't wait for the
stained-glass insert to be completed.

And another major milestone was the exterior painting being done!

The beloved Dogwood Tree:
I think it is fitting that this old Dogwood Tree is in full bloom going into the final month of the restoration project of this
church.  It is a beautiful tree, and it may be taking on a special symbolism.  There were a lot of people who felt this old church should just be torn down,
but faithful people with a heart for
preservation stood firm.  This tree has now been attacked as well.  It will remain, beautifully adorning this resurrected church.  And it is one of the many beloved old Dogwood Trees around the town of Maxton

March 23, 2012:
The floors are now finished!

Ronnie and Lawrence are looking at some of the molding work above while they, with Harry Moorachian (volunteer from Tega Cay, SC) stand on the floors cleared and ready for the refinishing.

Other views of the floors - waiting to be refinished:

And now the finished product! -

The floors were refinished by Fulford's Flooring out of Wilson, NC., a company that specializes in historic preservation:

Prior to closing the church down to all work other than the floor refinishing crew we were continuing the work on interior molding.

Lawrence sanding the transom windows to be installed back over the entrance doors:

2X4 ribbing added to the ceiling to hold
the fake beams yet to be installed:

This past Tuesday morning I walked into the St. George project and looked at all of the molding yet to be built and the floor scraping needing to be done before the floor refinishing contractor comes on the 19th and felt a little overwhelmed.  The feeling was a bit depressing - wondering just how it was going to all get done.
About an hour later, a team of 12 volunteers from Hickory Grove UMC walked in - unannounced - and asked if they could help.
Ask and ye shall be given!
They could not have come at a better time.  Their ranks included folks who were very happy to do the drudgery work of scraping the old carpet residue off of the floors - to the pastor willing to get into the crawl space to address some framing needs - to a few very skilled carpenters able to work on molding.

And then the lights went in!
Sanctuary chandeliers:

Unfortunately one of our "experiments" didn't work out so well.  It turns out that when a 15-light, rather heavy, chandelier is dropped from the ceiling, 20' above the floor, the chandelier does not fly, or drift slowly to the ground.  Gravity works.  And the outcome isn't pretty.  So a replacement one is on order.

                    The lounge pendant light:

The entry chandelier really sets off the Narthex - making it truly the warm and inviting front door to the church:

The interior wall sconces:

There is still much to do with the interior trim! - but there have been great inroads.  Yesterday I told Gary that if I ever again called for a design requiring 9 site-built, raised-panel columns - shoot me.  It's tedious - but it is a labor of love.

St. George UMC, Maxton, March 3, 2012:

The project is changing daily!  Our stained glass artist/contractor, Lou Ellen Becham, was on-site Wednesday to measure for new windows and to review the work needed to repair the damaged windows.  The most damaged windows were loaded up on her truck and shipped off to the LEB Glass Studios in Greenville, SC for repair.  This included the large window in the front of the church.  The damage was just too great to be able to repair it in place.
Ronnie helping Jimmey Davis load the large window
with Lou Ellen looking on.

Interior trim work began this week as well.  This includes a built-up wainscoting scheme meant to mimic the original - consisting of 7 pieces of wood trim along the entire circumference of walls.

The new columns are site-built, raised-panel design, sandwiching around the old columns: labor intensive, with each column requiring about 10 layers of various wood trim.

All of the flat ceilings plus the tray ceiling in the Narthex, and accent spots in the Sanctuary receive crown molding.  The Narthex received a "compound crown."  Thankfully we were helped out on Friday and Saturday from a volunteer team of 4 from Summerville, SC who are experts in trim work installation!

Jim and Steve working in the choir loft area on crown installation:

Jason, Jim and Steve working on the installation of the compound crown molding in the Narthex:

The finished product - The "compound crown" scheme in the Narhtex:
One of  the church members said on Saturday evening that "this church has become the talk of Maxton, and when people see the inside, this church is going to be growing!"

Work also continued on the interior door frame installation and the exterior door panic-bar and lockset installations.

St George UMC, Maxton: February 25, 2012:

On Thursday night, a church member and co-Chair of the building committee, "Sam" was driving past the church and he noticed the outside lights on and the doors hung.  He stopped and drank in the sight of this major milestone.  He then drove on home (about 9:30 at night) and as he walked in the door, another church member called and said - "Sam!, have you seen the church?  The new lights are installed and are on and the new doors are so beautiful."
...In a small town, news travels fast!  And it does the heart good.

The new lights are in deed installed on the exterior of the church and they really set it off.  The new doors are installed on the front of the church - still waiting the arrival of the hardware and the concrete pouring on the landings though to be complete.

A word about these "new" doors:  In the renovation of this historic church there were 2 interior doors found that are original to the structure.  They were covered in years and layers of paint.  We had the paint removed and the doors restored.  These 2 doors will be re-hung in their original location - but we used them as a model for the new doors.

The existing entrance doors were merely c.1980's metal doors.  We discarded them and had Jeff Davison, of Triangle Wood Designs in Raleigh (919-427-7268) hand craft new doors for the church, based on the design of the 2 interior doors.  This is the second time we have used Jeff and his remarkable talent.

The new doors are made of antique heart pine wood that was salvaged from the structural beams of a 100+ year old textile mill torn down in eastern North Carolina.  They remain unstained - just highly varnished.

We also started trimming out the interior columns, headers and wainscoting this week, and getting ready for our stained glass artist coming next week to review the repair work.  Three of the original window frames were so badly rotten they had to be replaced.  We had these copied by Stan Corbett of Corbett's Woodworking of Wilson (252-289-6640).

The frames are made from recycled fur wood, and will be painted along with the final paint scheme for the church.

Images of the trim work in progress:

February 18, 2012:
What a difference a "few" sheets of drywall make!  The drywall is now complete - hung and finished.  We will now enter the stage of interior finishing, and will make final plans for such at a committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday.

It was another absolutely wonderful - and WORK FILLED week.  We passed the framing, rough-in electrical, plumbing and wall insulation inspections, and we had crews and crews of people working on the site.

It's a gorgeous site to see so many volunteer and crew vehicles on
site at one time!

The new brick steps and wheelchair
ramp at the front doors are bricked -
ready and waiting for the backfill &

The first of the old stained glass
windows to be re-uncovered; letting
the light shine in.  (The windows had
been boarded up for protection during
interior demolition and roof

Spray foam!  Gotta love it...

All the walls were insulated:

The guys worked into
the evening to get the
insulation done - so that the insulation inspection could take place first thing the next day to allow for the OSB plywood sheathing to take place.

A team of 11 UMVIM-South Carolina volunteers came up from Bethany UMC in Summerville, SC to work Friday and Saturday - installing the OSB on the walls and the 2X4 purlins on the ceiling.  Their labor saved us about 3 weeks, and now the drywall will begin this coming Tuesday.

With the walls sheathed in OSB, and with the roof sheathed in OSB prior to the new shingles going on, a more solid diaphram has been created.  This plus all the new headers, columns and tie-rods has created a stronger building than this church ever was to begin with.

Work Update St. George UMC, Maxton: February 2 & 3, 2012:
It's been a busy week! - with one sub-contractor firm working above (on the roof), one working below (new footings for the future steps, landing and ramp), and volunteers working in the middle (interior framing) all at the same time. Got a love it!!

Taking the old roof off was a chore -
exposing the original roofing planks
with lots of gaps.  The planks were
installed to originally carry a wood
shake roof, and so were not installed
tightly.  Over the years, replacement
roofs of shingles were placed over
these planks with no changes to the
structure - not the best thing to do, as
this allows fatigue and moisture to
take a toll on the roof (and the 
structure below).  Although, with the
old removed - it does allow for an
interesting photo-shoot from the
interior! - and a lot of penetrating

We decided to leave the old planks
that are still good, in place, and replace
the rotten ones.  Then we covered the entire roof in new 7/16" OSB plywood to provide a more solid and smooth roof surface, before covering in felt and new, 30-year, architectural shingles.

Every evening at dusk, we are treated to
an incredible sight: hundreds of bats
take flight from the attic of the church.
In this picture there are three that show
up.  One can be seen squeezing out
between the barge board and the brick
wall.  We know we have the task of
shutting off the building to them - and
will do so as time permits.

The footings are in for the future front steps, landing and wheel chair ramp.  This also means we had our first inspection - and we passed it!  The old front doors were set at the top of brick steps - with no landing.  A dangerous and inconvenient situation; and of course not up-to-code by today's standards.

Work is continuing this week, and we hope to have the finished roof on by Friday - although the rain showers are teasing us...

By the end of the week:

Masons opening the whole for the             Ah - the love of a new roof!  And 
rose window                                               the rose window opening can be

Work Update: January 21, 2012:
What a fantastic week of work we had this week at the St. George UMC historic restoration project in Maxton!  - Lots of volunteers and lots of great jobs accomplished.
The difficult transition
area between the main
section of the sanctuary
and the south wing was
finally stabilized with
the installation of a
multi-layered header
system and new support

The old column was a single 8X8, rough-sawn column that rose from the main girder below the floor to the original 8X8 header, spliced by mortise and tendon, 14' above the floor.  This column had taken on a lean of 7" in 14'.  The old column remains in place, but is now sandwiched between two 2X12 posts, standing perfectly plumb, also rising from the girder, through the floor, to embrace both the old headers and the new, double 2X12 header above.

The new "plumb" 2X12 post!                          Showing the two 2X12's nailed
                                                                         to the original 8X8, embracing
                                                                         both of the two original 8X8
                                                                         headers & the new double 2X12

Volunteers installing the
new multi-layered
header system: designed
to integrate the new with
the old.

Whereas the south wing
posts leaned out 7" to the
south, the north wing
posts leaned out 7" to the
north.  A new header and
post system has now been
installed at the north wing -
the altar and choir area.

Rafter joint repairs.                                      One of the new tension rods 
                                                                     between the south and north wings,
                                                                     across the sanctuary.

Work Update - January 13, 2012: St. George UMC, Maxton: Work finished today with the building of a new rear wall inside the existing wall - in order to give the interior a plumb wall, whereas the existing wall has a 4" lean outward.  Framing continued.  The rough-in plumbing is complete.  The HVAC repairs are complete.

New plumb rear wall connected to old        Framing for the future Lady's rest
out-of-plumb wall.  Note OSB placed         room and lounge.
on side walls and ceiling to create a
more stable diaphragm.

New lumber being installed to replace termite destroyed framing members.

Boxes and boxes and boxes of new lights delivered!

On left: new door opening framed in to allow access to what will be a small business office with shower; and above: new ceiling and header framing in Sanctuary's south wing.

Soon to go! - the old front steps; to be replaced with a new wrap-around landing, steps and wheelchair ramp.

In Other Work:
The next church
model being


Work Update - January 8, 2012:  work this past week included the framing for the inerior wheelchair ramp to the Altar, and the replacement of some of the termite damaged corner framing.  the schedule for the next week is:
Monday, January 9 through Thursday, January 12:
- Demolition of front exterior brick steps
- Continuation of termite damage structural wood replacement
- Construction of ceiling framing over the future "Women's Room."
- Door installation to the new office
- Rough-in plumbing

December 10, 2011:
Work continues to progress at the St. George UMC, Maxton, historic church restoration project.  All of the interior has been stripped to the exposed studs, rafters and ceiling joists.  A section of the floor has been removed and new floor joists are going in.  The electrical rough-in wiring has been completed.

Solid blocking installed at the 4' and 8' elevations.

                                   Volunteer installing the
                                   wood blocking.

Volunteers installing temporary                                                  new header and support column
support walls in the altar area.                   in the area where a wall once stood
                                                                   and should not have been removed.

Work began at St. George United Methodist Church in Maxton, NC. on Thursday, 17 August, 2011.  We had a turn out of about 20 volunteers to help in boarding up the 45 stained glass windows in preparation of interior demolition.  This is a historic church in need of a complete restoration.  The building is a rather unique structure, being built with bricks made by hand on the property.  There has been some foundation failure, following a remodel done in the 1950's; and the building was later wracked by a hurricane in the early 2000's.  Once the windows are boarded up the interior demolition can commence, and then the restoration work can get underway in October - for which we are also seeking volunteers.

Phase 1 and Phase 2work at Tabernacle, a historic church near Stantonsburg has been completed.    The work we were involved with at Tabernacle was the replacement of termite destroyed portions of this very historic, rural church, located about half way between Wilson and Greenville, NC. 

There were two areas effected by termites - both where the sanctuary and the classroom wing come together; and each to either side of the altar area.

The following pictures are of the work  done prior to February 20.  These pictures show much of what had to be opened and exposed and replaced.  This work has now been completed.  All work has been completed.

Rhyne Memorial UMC
                   - Red Springs, NC
 We are now preparing to work on the front door restorations

Vass UMC
                  - Vass, NC
Work will begin on Wednesday, September 28 involving a roof reconstruction at the Fellowship Hall.  Volunteers are sought for Thursday and Friday, September 29 and 30.

And we are currently in the design stage with the following congregations, working with  them to come up with the expansion plans for their dreams in ministry:

Aldersgate UMC
                                                                             - Chapel Hill, NC 
Crossroads UMC
                   - Hope Mills, NC
Clarks UMC
                   - Clarks, NC

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