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Local Baptist church spends summer vacation fixing up homes

By Kathryn May | Posted - Jun 24th, 2013 @ 10:12pm

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MORGAN — A giant service project is taking place in Morgan this week. Hundreds of people descended on the small town Monday morning bringing shovels, paint, and other supplies.

Members from the Washington Heights Church in South Ogden dug up weeds, scraped off old paint and moved dirt. And they will continue to do so for the rest of the week.

"Cleared off this path, started weeding over there, and I was scraping the deck," said volunteer Michelle Vanleer. "You couldn't see the deck even from the road. So we have just been clearing it out. We're gonna mulch it."

It's all part of a service project organized by the Washington Heights Church from South Ogden.

"Our main philosophy of our ministry is love God and love people," said Washington Heights church Pastor Jimi Pitts.

"People take vacation to come to Morgan, hang out for a week. Doesn't get better than that… we just have a blast. We have a blast."

Each year the church chooses a community to serve. They'll spend an entire week working on a number of projects throughout the town.

"People take vacation to come to Morgan, hang out for a week," Pitts said. "Doesn't get better than that we just have a blast. We have a blast."

Mayor Jim Egbert says the church approached him a year ago and asked how they could best serve his community. The city identified 23 homeowners who could really use the help.

"This project is something that will help them immensely," Egbert said. "It'll just dress up the community."

Homeowner John Hubbell says he didn't have a way to take care of his yard while he was stationed in Ft. Stewart, Ga. for the past two years.

"We just got back from the military and our house was in desperate need of help and care," Hubbell said. "I don't have words for how grateful we are."

About 450 people will participate in this week of service.

Local homeowner Gisela Lythgoe says she didn't have the money to buy a new roof and she is so happy she has a new one.

"I'm overwhelmed," Lythgoe said. "I feel like I'm in a fairyland because my trailer is just so beautiful. I have a white porch and the trim is all white, it looks like a brand new trailer."

And after a long day's work the volunteers look tired and dirty, but they're smiling.

"That's God," said Washington Heights church member Kathy Kippen. "He gives us our strength to do this."

Egbert says the local members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wanted to know how they could help without getting in the way. They offered to feed the community church for the five days they are in Morgan.


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