AMERICUS, Ga. - Millard Fuller, 74, who at 29 walked away from his life as a successful businessman to devote himself to the poor, started what would be called Habitat for Humanity International. The organization spread what he called "the theology of the hammer" by building more than 300,000 homes worldwide. Fuller died Feb. 3, near his home in Americus, Ga.
Propelled by his strong Christian principles, Fuller used Habitat to develop a system of using donated money and material, and voluntary labor, to build homes for low-income families. The homes are sold without profit, and buyers pay no interest. Buyers are required to help build their houses, contributing what Fuller called 'sweat equity'.
More than a million people live in the homes, which are in more than 100 countries. There are hundreds of Habitat homes across Indiana.
The idea began while Fuller worked building homes in Africa for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) based in Indianapolis.