CHANDLER, Ind. – A Warrick County family in need was in a newly constructed home before Christmas thanks to the Newburgh United Methodist Church.

Joe and Brandi Dore, along with volunteers from the Newburgh church and Warrick County Habitat for Humanity, finished the house at 133 East Williams Street in Chandler after beginning construction in October.

The home was dedicated Sunday, Dec. 12, with members of 800-member Newburgh UMC bringing special ornaments for a new Christmas tree in the home’s family room. With snow gently falling outside, everyone was toasty warm in the new Five Star energy-rated house.

Newburgh UMC Pastor Todd Gile presented the Dores with a Bible encouraging them to keep their family’s home on the firm foundation of the Word of God. Pastor Mark Dicken offered a prayer of consecration and volunteers received the thanks and praise of Habitat Director, Amy Hobbs.

The project, dubbed “A Home for the Holidays,” was the vision of Dicken following the church’s unprecedented opportunity to host a concert by the Vienna Boys Choir this past November. Realizing this presented possibilities beyond the ordinary, Dicken challenged the church to engage in a risk-taking mission and service to raise the funds and build the house in partnership with Habitat by Christmas.

Habitat for Humanity selected the homeowners using their process, criteria and requirements. The church was delighted to learn they would be building a new home with the Dores who are active members of the Newburgh UMC.

“This was a whole-church effort,” Dicken said. “Our United Methodist Women gave from their mission giving, our children’s ministry placed purple toilets on members’ lawns and then offered to remove them for a donation, our youth ministry built the yard barn, and our fourth-and-fifth-grade Sunday school class built a dog house – even though at the time we did not know who the family would be who would live in the house and whether they had a dog. It turned out the Dore family added a dog to their family a couple of weeks prior to learning they had been selected as the new homeowners by Habitat for Humanity.

Dicken said many of members gave sacrificial financial contributions and precious gifts of time and talent during the construction.

“Doing this in the midst of a lousy economy, raising more than $60,000 above and beyond our own ministry and mission and mortgage needs while paying our fair-share tithe to the connectional church was not always easy. We have had to deny ourselves in some significant ways and we will need to make more sacrifices next year, but I am so proud of the people of this church,” Dicken said.

Nancy Lybarger serves as senior adult ministries director at Newburgh UMC.

The Rev. Dr. Todd Gile, one of the pastors at Newburgh UMC, presents the Dore family with a Bible during the dedication.