(Photo courtesy Rex Deckard)
While constructing churches has been known to take years, decades, or even centuries, one Iowa sanctuary was raised in a little more than 30 hours.
The Calvary Tabernacle Church of Perry was completed last weekend by an army of some 300 volunteers, who were part of the "Church in a Day" building program.
Rex Deckard, pastor of Cavalry Apostolic Church of Des Moines, the church for which Cavalry Tabernacle came from, told The Christian Post that the effort "took a tremendous amount of advance preparation and coordination."
"There was a very specific timetable for when different trades would do their part of the construction. We also had mentors from Indiana that had been through the same process a number of times that helped to coach us along," said Deckard.
"The pastor of the church, Gregg Davison, was the single most important key in carrying the project through from initial application until completion."
According to Deckard, once it became an autonomous congregation, Cavalry Tabernacle initially had a storefront property as its facility for worship.
"Having met in rented facilities and community buildings, I can say that having a permanent building in a smaller community has many advantages," said Deckard. "It gives the congregation and community a sense of stability and permanency. A church is able to do far more activities in the building than just having a worship service."
Cavalry Tabernacle was just the latest of over 100 church buildings constructed over the span of a day. The effort was part of the "Church in a Day" program, which is overseen by the United Pentecostal Church International.
Brian K. Hord, executive assistant to the Director for North American Missions for UPCI, told CP that the "Church in a Day" program was first performed on November 28, 1987 on behalf of Apostolic Life Center Church of Marvell, Ark. Hord explained the process.
"The pastor of a local church sends a request to his district North American Missions director. The District North American Missions director brings the request. Application is made. Questions are asked," said Hord.
"[The church] must be a small church less than 10 years old in the United Pentecostal Church International … Must have land purchase."
The typical schedule for a "Church in a Day" project begins around 6:30 a.m., with the raising of the walls, which usually takes around ten minutes. From there things like wall sheeting, framing, brick work, and insulation are done, often simultaneously.
By early afternoon power and air conditioning are turned on, and interior work like painting are done. Usually by the next morning the pews and other furniture are brought in and project is completed. According to Hord, under ideal conditions like nice weather and "few technical complications" a building can be completed well under 24 hours.
While Calvary Tabernacle Church of Perry was finished in 30 hours, other sanctuaries have been completed in as little as 18 hours.