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      Carpenters for Christ return for church dedication in Walterboro

      By Ava Wilhiteawilhite@abcnews4.com

      CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) When Carpenters for Christ first came to the site of Great Swamp Baptist Church, only the foundation was laid, but on Sunday they gave thanks with the congregation for the new building at the dedication ceremony.

      It was a homecoming of sorts for Carpenters for Christ. The Alabama group is responsible for building the framework and roof of the new Great Swamp Baptist Church in just{}seven days.{}

      "We did a lot of prayer and the Carpenters for Christ came and I really feel like God answered out prayers and sent them, because I don't know if we could have built what we have now without their help," said Sandra Howell, who joined the church 40 years ago.

      She said her entire family was devastated when lightning struck the church and it burned down two years ago.{}

      "And through God's grace we would have another building and our church was still together, the people we're still here and we had to have faith and believe that we were going to have another church one day," said Howell.

      Carpenters for Christ group leader Raymond Mathis held back tears of joy as he and the other carpenters were welcomed back to a finished church.

      "It's gratifying to us, but it's just a small portion from God and what he does for us or though us we couldn't do our selves," said Mathis.

      "They were in the initial work phase of erecting the walls the roof and things like that. And to let them come back and see what we followed through with," said Pastor Jack Padgett.

      Padgett said he's thankful God led the carpenters to help with Great Swamp and he wants the community to know they are ready to serve.

      "We just want our community to know that this church is for everyone and it's for God, we want to honor him and we want it to be a light for our community," said Howell. {}

      Padgett said they look forward to moving on with regular services, classes, and weddings this summer and of course vacation bible school.

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