Volunteer-built church ready for first Easter - KMSP-TV

Volunteer-built church ready for first Easter

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Building a church from the ground up is no easy task, especially if it all depends upon volunteers. But brick by brick, one Brooklyn Park congregation did just that and they are now ready to celebrate their first Easter Sunday.

The pastor of Bethany Baptist Church said it wasn't anything short of a miracle since it also was done in a year. The tight-knit community saw their faith stretch as they pieced it together.

Sweeping the floors may not be the most glamorous job, especially when you're not even getting paid, but Viktor Grishkov is happy to do it because he says it's for a higher calling.

"He's going get a payback from Jesus, from God," Grishkov said.

The Moldovian immigrant and others are putting the final functions on this building, trying to have it ready for the Easter Sunday service.

"We don't know any other way. It is just the way we got used to it over there," Grishkov said.

"This tight-knit immigrant community spans from post-Soviet block countries; Ukraine, Belarus, Russia are all represented, and they simply needed a larger church.

Over the past year, hundreds of volunteers from the congregation donated their time, laying the tile, painting the walls and building the foundation.

"Basically, this is why we come here," church member Alex Loghinov said. "We don't do it for ourselves, we do it for god or for other people."

Pastor Vitaliy Bak says over half of his 600-member congregation was motivated to succeed, many of them not even trained in carpentry. There were times when it was rough.

"Some mornings you would come here and not many people were volunteers, like one person," Bak said.

If it wasn't for two elderly women who donated the seed money, this church may not have gone up.

"Like the story from the Gospel, when a widow put two mites, two coins basically in the treasury in the temple, and Jesus said she gave most of anybody else because she gave all that she had," Bak said.

The church still has some rough spots that need to be finished, but Viktor and the rest of the volunteers say they will keep persevering until the job is done.

"We have faith, but it's kind of like looking back, we didn't expect it to come out like this."

Right now, the sermons are preached in Russian, but the pastor hopes to bring English services online to welcome a more diverse crowd.

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