‘It’s just a miracle:’ Volunteers rebuild Chatham Church three years later

In 2019, a tractor trailer destroyed two-thirds of the building

What started as a tragic situation has turned into a blessing for a local community.

PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. – A tragic situation has turned into a blessing for a local community. More than three years after a serious accident, a Chatham church is picking up the pieces.

Tim Kyser has been the Pastor at Open Bible Baptist for 22 years. He said he knows the church is growing and needs a bigger sanctuary, but he never thought this is how it would come to be.

“For us, it was a tragic thing, but God has turned it around in some pretty remarkable ways,” Kyser said.

In January 2019, a tractor-trailer barreled into the church, taking out two-thirds of the building.

He says the first miracle started with a phone call.

A woman offered to give the church $210,000 dollars to rebuild. Kyser said she told him she’d had the money for a while and this was what God was leading her to do with it.

With the donation and insurance money combined, the church was ready to get started on renovations. Kyser and the church community were ready to get started, but COVID delayed their plans.

“COVID hit,” Kyser said. “It shut down all the contractors. Then the price of lumber and labor went through the roof.”

Kyser said the church didn’t want to go in debt for this project, so they put renovations on hold and started praying.

About a month later, Carpenters for Christ came in.

Carpenters for Christ travel the east coast to build places of worship with their main goal being to make already good men into better Christians, fathers and husbands.

“It just really warms your heart and that’s what our mission is about,” said Phil Duval, the president of the Florida chapter. “We’re about building the Kingdom of God.”

Duval is just one of 50 men volunteering his time. The organization is spending a week in Pittsylvania County, and the work at Chatham Church is almost done.

“God gave us the money, He gave us laborers and He’s doing it all,” Kyser added. “We never asked anybody for anything. It’s just a miracle and we’re just watching it happen.”

Carpenters for Christ will be back at the church in October, according to Kyser. He said he’s trusting God to finish the job and knows God will continue to answer their prayers.

About the Author:

Kortney joined the 10 News team as a Lynchburg Bureau Reporter in May 2021.