Morgantown—First Baptist Church of Morgantown’s Clara Lee Circle helped raised funds for the church to build a handicap assessible fellowship hall. The “Fellowship Hall built by God and His Children” was completed and dedicated in July 2015, and by March 12 of this year, the church has raised nearly $342,000.
The Clara Lee Circle, organized in honor or Clara Lee Matthews and her husband Harold, missionaries to the Philippines and members of Lyndon Baptist Church in Louisville, first were inspired to build the fellowship hall after being challenged at a business meeting to make the Woman’s Missionary Union more visible and accessible. Before the fellowship hall, they had been meeting in the church basement.
Modeling fundraising and other activities after a story in the Missions Mosaic magazine (a publication of national WMU), “The House that God Built” by Beth Holmes, they began a fund for a fellowship building, starting with some money from the treasury and even contributing quarters to the endeavor.
Over time, funds were raised, sometimes $600 at a time to $23,000 in a single day. Various contributors, both inside and outside the church, helped.
“We realized that there were many obstacles to overcome, the economy, few numbers, and that many of our Clara Lee Circle members may not live to see it built,” Cilicia Burden and Peggy Drake, members of Morgantown First Baptist, shared. But they drew inspiration from the founders of the church who built that building and Nehemiah’s building project and persevered.
The church celebrated a “Hallelujah Day” for the fellowship hall to continue raising funds, as well as a dedication and ribbon cutting service when the hall was completed in 2015. (WR)