Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home
The Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home provides a safe and nurturing Christ centered home for children whose families are not able to care for them. The TBCH compound is made up of several home cottages. Each cottage is managed by a set of house parents who care for up to 8 children at one time. We have a couple in our small group at church, Ron and Mardi Lucas, who are house parents. They knew that I designed kitchens and asked me if I’d come and give them some advice on installing new kitchen countertops.
Good and Faithful Servants
When I got there, I discovered that their current kitchen was not very functional for the needs of their home. The house parents prepare meals, 2-3 times a day for up to 12 people. The biggest issue was not having space to maneuver with multiple people in the kitchen at the same time. Their major walkway was just 36″ wide AND it had barstool seating in that aisle.
If anyone was sitting in those barstools, it was impossible to pass through. On top of that the cabinets were original to the home built around 1970. They were out of style, they had been painted multiple times, and were falling apart. I couldn’t in good conscience recommend that they install thousands of dollars of new countertops on top of the current cabinets. I recommended a gut renovation. One that would potentially cost around $50,000. I took a leap of faith and said that I wanted to try to get everything donated. Ron and Mardi’s response was, “Lets see what God can do”. I left that meeting with no idea how to pull this off, but confident that this was the right direction and God could provide a new kitchen for these faithful servants.
I remembered that there was another guy in our small group, Will Gamble, who was in the construction industry. I stopped him one day and told him what we were trying to do. He immediately jumped in and his involvement turned the tide and changed everything. He secured donated cabinets, appliances, countertops, plumbing items, an LVL beam and skilled labor. The only thing the TBCH had to buy for the renovation was tile, lighting, and a few miscellaneous items.
I had already worked on a design and layout that included taking out a wall and extending the countertop to move the barstool seating to the living room side for better traffic flow.
Our church members volunteered for demo and painting. They also provided meals while the kitchen was under construction.
Look what God did!
Many thanks to all the volunteers and specifically to Will Gamble for securing all the donations- JE Dunn (Misc labor and coordination + Drywall work), Founders Kitchens and Bath (cabinets)- Emily Shannon, Tate Ornamental (countertops)- Joey Tate, Ferguson’s (appliances and plumbing fixtures)- Donnie Cummings, Lee Company (MPE Rough-in, misc materials, and trim out) – Mark Kenney / Andy Sweeney, Elder Building Supply ( LVL ) – Mickey Elder, Clearview Baptist Church (volunteers and meals), TBCH (misc volunteers and project coordination)- Ron Lucas, Shane Pass, Clearview Students, Derrick Hood (tile install), Mark Baird, Cliff Buell, Beth Bryan (drawings and renderings) and Kim Margrave.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1Peter 4: 8-10