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Painting pastors ready Habitat house

September 30, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- The recipients of a Habitat for Humanity house came one step closer to moving into their new Hagerstown home Wednesday after a group of Lutheran pastors finished painting the inside walls.

Gerry Johnson, dean of the Washington County Conference of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, said 10 pastors started painting the house at 1014 Lanvale St. at about 8 a.m. and finished about 2 1/2 hours later.

Johnson said the family will move in around November after the electrical work is completed and the carpet is laid.

"It's been a really good outreach," Johnson said of the project, which began in June. "Volunteers just go nuts. They raised the walls in one day. They put in the roof in one day. People did a good job of putting it together."

Johnson said the local conference pulls volunteers from 15 Lutheran churches in the county to perform charitable work.

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"It builds community," Johnson said. "That's what we should be about."

The house was paid for by the Washington County Conference of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Habitat for Humanity and Thrivent Financial Services for Lutherans, a faith-based organization that offers financial advice to its members.

Thrivent donated $75,962 to help finance the project, and local Lutherans chipped in $11,687, said Kathy Powderly, director of development for Habitat for Humanity of Washington County. Habitat for Humanity paid about $29,000 to help purchase a good portion of the land.

Powderly said Habitat for Humanity has built 28 homes in Washington County since 1994. The house on Lanvale Street is the third this year.

"We will most likely build three (more houses) next year," Powderly said. "It depends on the funding."

Powderly said homes that are built by Habitat for Humanity are not a handout. Recipients pay an interest-free mortgage for 30 years, she said.

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