RICHLANDS | Onslow County native Kenneth Marshburn is back in town to preach the first service at the new Richlands United Pentecostal Church and was on site Friday as more than 200 volunteers helped to make sure the building was ready for Sunday services.
They started from the foundation up.
Richlands UPC is church No. 131 to be built through the United Pentecostal Church International Church in a Day program.
Marshburn, who is pastor at Landmark UPC in Lexington, was invited home by Richlands UPC pastor Matthew Drake to participate in the build and to help them celebrate completion of the project during Sunday’s services. Marshburn was Drake’s pastor when his family lived in Lexington.
Marshburn was glad to come out show his support for the church and the Church in a Day program.
“This is like a dream come true. This is something I’ve long wanted to see in my hometown,” Marshburn said as he watched the walls to the building being raised under the early morning sun.
Work at the site began promptly at 7 a.m. with the volunteers making a circle around the foundation and raising the frames for the walls simultaneously. By 10 a.m., exterior walls were up, roof trusses were in place and HVAC equipment was being moved into place.
Stacks of windows, duct work, trailers of equipment and plants and trees for landscaping were strategically set around the site, ready for their use as soon as needed.
The record completion time for a Church in a Day project is 19 hours.
It was too soon to say whether the Richlands UPC project will break that record but Drake looked around Friday morning and knew the day was a success.
“It is absolutely amazing what people can do when they set their mind to it,” Drake said. “I am so grateful to the community, to the UPC family, to my family and my church family. I believe God is happy with what we are doing today.”
The volunteers came from North Carolina as well as 12 other states, many of them skilled as contractors, electricians, plumbers, roofers, framers and other trades willing to donate their time to help
There were volunteers of all ages and from different cultures.
Pastor Moses Perez of El Faro, a Spanish UPC church in Greenville, came with several members of his congregation.
Perez said many members of his church are skilled in construction trades and when he told the congregation about the build, they wanted to help. While most only spoke…