Maranatha Volunteers International recently completed a volunteer project in Fulton, Missouri, where 26 volunteers finished their part in helping to construct a brand new building for the Fulton Seventh-day Adventist Church.  The congregation used Maranatha’s North America Church Design, a blueprint for a simple and cost-effective structure. The plan can minimize architect fees and expedite the entire process, while providing a sanctuary for between 120 and 200 people. It also includes a fellowship hall, Sabbath School classrooms, bathrooms, audio-visual room and a pastor’s office.

Donald Schaefer is the head elder of the Fulton Church, and an experienced Maranatha volunteer. “It was a very helpful and inspiring thing to have Maranatha here. We have done many Maranatha projects ourselves, so we knew what to expect, but a number of our church members did not, so it was fun to see their experience with Maranatha.”

Volunteers on this project mostly focused on framing, with some plumbing and electrical work as well. They also upgraded the sewer system on the property with a new septic tank and plumbing. Local church members joined volunteers during the project, which featured a dozen first time volunteers. With a head start from Maranatha volunteers on this project, the members will carry on the work to completion from here.

Courtesy of Maranatha Volunteers International

“We feel that the Holy Spirit has led throughout this entire project, especially with Maranatha getting involved and helping to get us along this far,” said Schaefer. “It was important to get this project off to a fast start so we could close it up before the winter comes.”

“I hope this building can be a new beginning for this congregation, a new opportunity for the church to grow,” said project coordinator and Maranatha’s director of volunteer services, Lisandro Staut. “It will give them a fresh start to expand their church family.”

Each year, Maranatha works with organizations in the United States and Canada to provide volunteer labor for various construction or renovation projects at summer camps and retreat centers, schools, and churches. Work ranges from renovations of existing buildings to new construction, and saves thousands of dollars in labor costs.

Maranatha Volunteers International, a non-profit, Christian organization, mobilizes volunteers to build churches, schools, water wells, and other urgently needed structures around the world. Since 1969, Maranatha has constructed more than 11,000 structures and 1,000 water wells in nearly 90 countries around the world.

This article first appeared on and was written by Dustin Comm