Area churches honor MLK legacy by partnering with Habitat Wake

January 30, 2017

Churches across Wake County honored the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. with special worship services and build days with Habitat for Humanity of Wake County on the weekend of January 13.

"The concept of the 'beloved community' was a key part of Dr. King's teaching," explains Rick Beech, Vice President of Faith Relations for Habitat Wake. "His vision was of an integrated, loving society that is the ideal expression of the Christian faith. We are delighted that so many churches are realizing this concept and including Habitat builds as part of their MLK observances."

Most MLK Day commemorations include special worship opportunities designed to inspire service followed by build projects providing an immediate way for church members to impact their community.

Habitat Wake’s Downtown Coalition, comprised of a diverse group of churches located near downtown Raleigh, held a special worship on January 15 at Martin Street Baptist Church. On January 16, the Downtown Coalition launched its spring build in the Habitat Construction Facility. The volunteers built the walls for the future home of Al and Terry.  This is the first time the Downtown Coalition participated in a build on Martin Luther King Day.

Southwest Wake County has seen a burst of  Habitat Wake activity in recent years. Habitat Wake has built new homes in Apex, Fuquay-Varina and Holly Springs and opened Habitat ReStores in Apex and Fuquay-Varina. A group of 13 from churches make up the Southwest Wake Coalition.

There are two special worship services in southwest Wake County to commemorate MLK Day. One service was held on January 15 at Holly Springs Cultural Center, and the MLK Day Community Worship Service was held on January 16 at Bazzel Creek Missionary Baptist Church in Fuquay-Varina. The Southwest Wake Build kicked off its build on Saturday, January 21. After the walls and components were built, volunteers transported the walls to Holly Springs to raise the walls of the future home of Michael and Hanane. This is the second home Habitat Wake is building in Holly Springs.

For the second year, the Habitat Wake Baptist Build will unite churches from the historically white Raleigh Baptist Association (RBA) and  historically black Wake Missionary Baptist Association (WMBA). The 2017 Baptist Build began on January 14 with a wall-raising ceremony at Mary and Billy's new home in Raleigh. The churches worshiped together on January 15 at the Fountain of  Raleigh. Clergy from the coalition churches led the service, which included a mass choir. The Baptist Build Youth Day was held on January 16, with youth volunteers 16 and older helping to build the two homes.

“We are grateful for the momentum of the Baptist Build,” commented Beech. “The number of participating churches has increased as has the level of engagement with Habitat. The build is bringing people of different backgrounds together in a joyful way.”

The Northern Wake Coalition of Churches, largely based in Wake Forest, continues its tradition of building and repairing homes in honor of MLK. The Northern Wake Coalition is repairing four homes through Home Preservation and a project at Hope House Pavilion, which is central to neighborhood revitalization efforts in Wake Forest.