Looking back at North Carolina Baptist Men's efforts to rebuild the coast

This story was posted in 2007 by WLOX when the North Carolina Baptist Men group was volunteering to build houses.  Click on the video to the right for a look back at their efforts.

Faith based volunteers build a new home on Hiern Avenue in Pass Christian. They're part of a long term commitment from the North Carolina Baptist Men.

"We arrived September the 5th of '05 and we've been here ever since," said Eddie Williams, who helps coordinate hundreds of volunteers.

The North Carolina group has averaged 235 volunteers a day.

Lacey Burgess is part of a church team from Locust, North Carolina, just outside Charlotte.

"It's been great so far. When we came down here, I was not expecting to build a house from the ground up. But it's been very eventful. And we've had a great time. It's been very hot, but we're getting the job done," she said.

"We've made a commitment to rebuild 700 homes. And right now we're at 569. So, we've still got a little ways to go," said Williams.

Those who work with the North Carolina Baptist Men are not all from North Carolina, not all men, and not all Baptist. They've drawn volunteers from 41 states, several foreign countries and multi denominations.

The work is their witness.

"In the book of Matthew it says what you've done for the lease of these you've done for me, speaking of Jesus. So, we just feel it's our obligation. We think if this had happened in North Carolina there would be groups from Gulfport up there," Clint Eudy explained.

Though the mission is giving, the volunteers will take away the heartfelt thanks of a grateful South Mississippi.

"It's been fantastic. I think we're taking away, back to North Carolina, a whole lot more than we've given," said Williams.

The North Carolina group has a headquarters at the old armory building on 17th Street in Gulfport.  Along with the commitment of volunteers, the group has also pledged five million dollars to Hurricane Katrina relief work.