Vision for children’s home, camp becoming reality

Published 5:21 pm Thursday, September 24, 2009

Turn off County Road 28 onto an inconspicuous gravel road, and you will find a massive two-story home with 11 bedrooms and six and a half baths.

But this “mansion,” if you will, is not for the rich — at least not in modern-day terms. The building is the first and largest of three homes that will house children who are temporarily or permanently without a home.

Raleigh’s Place is the vision of Sharon and Tim King, who have taken in more than 50 foster children and adopted several. The ultimate goal is to build a children’s home and camp complete with cabins and recreational facilities.

Construction on the first home, an 8,400-square foot structure, began in June and is nearly complete thanks to the helping hands of volunteers from churches across the Southeast, including local churches.

This week, an organization of retired Christians — Campers on Mission of Mississippi — is building and staining cabinets, trim and doors.

When complete, the home will be able to house up to 20 children.

“We saw such a wonderful atmosphere within this family and saw what they were doing with these kids, and we were just moved by it,” said volunteer Joel Powell. “It’s a God-sent thing.”

“They are the faces of Christ,” said Sharon King, referring to Christ’s role in the Bible as a carpenter. “They are humble servants, building and helping others.”

Many couples were there, including Betty McCrimmon and her husband, Harvey. She said she preferred to do mission work in her retirement than to be at home.

“Alabama has a very strong Campers on Mission organization,” she added.

Despite the size of the house, the Kings have spent just $1,800 because most of the materials and labor have been donated. The kitchen cabinets alone would have cost $11,000, King said.

Remaining work includes flooring, bathroom fixtures and light fixtures. The next phase will be cabins.

Raleigh’s Place is a nonprofit organization with a 10-member board of directors. It is described as a “Christ-centered home and camp” that will benefit not only the children who live there but also youth groups and organizations in the community that will use the camp’s facilities.

For more information, call the Kings at 755-9615.