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Pastor serves as carpenter in Honduras

March 26, 2009|By MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN -- Just back from 10 days in Honduras, the Rev. Timothy J. Leighton said he can't rule out packing his bags again in the future for his faith.

"This was my second trip to Honduras," said Leighton, pastor and teacher at Church of the Holy Trinity, United Church of Christ, in Hagerstown since January 2006. "The Catoctin Association (United Church of Christ) has had an ongoing mission project there since 1998."

The mission project was spawned from Hurricane Mitch, which tore through the small Central American country 11 years ago and caused widespread destruction.

Through a partnership with Iglesia Bethel, a Honduran church, volunteers spent a week shoveling mud out of houses the year after the hurricane.

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Each year since, teams have gone to Honduras to help rebuild houses - more than 25 to date have been built in a town called El Progresso, which is near San Pedro Sula, the second largest city in Honduras.

The families for whom the houses are built must contribute $100, have proof they own the land and put in effort toward the labor on the house.

Leighton said additional needs have surfaced over the years, including a scholarship program that to date has raised about $100,000 to send more than 400 youngsters to school.

Born in Westbrook, Maine, Leighton received a bachelor of arts degree in history and religion in 1987 from Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio.

After graduation from college, Leighton joined the Peace Corps, serving in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly Zaire, as a water and sanitation technician.

When he returned from Central Africa, Leighton enrolled at Andover Newton Theological School and graduated with a master of divinity degree in 1993.

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