Labor of love

Published 7:21 pm Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A construction project east of Clanton brings new meaning to the term “home missions.”

Volunteers from churches in three different states converged Saturday to begin work on Raleigh’s Place, a 20-acre children’s home and camp that will eventually include cabins and recreational facilities.

The first phase is a two-story, 8,400-square foot home that will house up to 15 abused, neglected or abandoned children.

Raleigh’s Place is the vision of Tim and Sharon King, who have taken in more than 50 foster children, have adopted six children, and are currently in the process of adopting more.

The volunteers — representing Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama — are taking it upon themselves to turn the Kings’ vision into reality.

“Many of these people are using their vacation time to do this,” Sharon King said. “You couldn’t pay a contractor to build with the same care and quality because these people build from the heart.”

The camp will be located off County Road 1028, Lake Mitchell Road. The project’s next three phases will involve the construction of cabins, recreational fields, a swimming pool and a second home.

King said a project that big, especially considering the economic times, could easily scare people away, but they are taking it one step at a time — and each step is a step of faith.

“God has already worked so many miracles from the beginning,” said Lynn Smith, a volunteer from nearby Providence Baptist Church No. 2. “The foundation is Christ; it isn’t the concrete. Without him it would never happen.”

Raleigh’s Place bears the name of the Kings’ late daughter, who had numerous seizures each day. It was through Raleigh’s own faith and her interactions with people that the Kings’ vision was inspired.

“It was through Raleigh that we saw Christ in the way people reacted to her,” King said. “Raleigh’s Place is about teaching kids about Christ so they can change their own lives.”

Raleigh’s Place is also a nonprofit organization with a 10-member board of directors. More volunteers are needed, however, to donate time and materials. Current needs include sheetrock, heating and air, electrical work, vinyl siding, and other materials. All donations are tax deductible.

To make a donation or to become a volunteer, call the Kings at 755-9615.