Community building home for cancer patient, family

Published 1:14 pm Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A group of builders and volunteers is working to construct this new house for the family of a terminal cancer patient. (Contributed)

A group of builders and volunteers is working to construct this new house for the family of a terminal cancer patient. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – On Feb. 5, a group of professional builders and volunteers will begin constructing tangible evidence of a project to build a better future for the family of a man facing a terminal cancer diagnosis.

Over the past 90 days, Alabaster’s First United Methodist Church has worked with several area churches to organize a communitywide effort to construct, from scratch, a new home off Old Highway 31 in Alabaster.

The project came as a result of the church’s Highway 11 Ministry, which is following the motto “From strangers to friends and ultimately, brothers and sisters in Christ” to work with community leaders to improve areas along Shelby County 11. Other churches and organizations involved in the project are Liberty Baptist Church, Emmanuel Temple, Mount Olive Baptist Church and Kids First Community Center.

The project began after the church learned the current head of the household recently received a terminal lung cancer diagnosis, and is not expected to live another year, said church member Werner Beiersdoerfer.

“If he dies within a year, like the doctors have predicted, his widow will have no place to live,” Beiersdoerfer said during a Jan. 20 interview, noting the family’s current home is in severe disrepair. “So rather than try to repair the current home, we decided to replace it.”

Local builder Scott Masters joined the effort after hearing about the family’s plight, and has secured enough donated material and in-kind labor to cover “about 90 percent of the project,” Beiersdoerfer said.

The church, with the help of the the Sanctuary Trust for Shelby County, has secured a $25,000 line of credit from Central State Bank to cover the costs above the donated materials and labor.

From Feb. 5-7, a professional builder will oversee a group of volunteers as they construct the framing for the new house. After the frame is up, the project will focus on building the roof and then finishing out the inside of the home.

Work will commence on the structure each weekend, weather permitting, and the project currently is seeking additional volunteers, Beiersdoerfer said.

“We want the community to understand the importance of helping the indigent in Shelby County,” Beiersdoerfer said. “There are so many people living in areas that if a building inspector walked through it, they would condemn it.”

To volunteer or donate to the project, contact the church at 663-0509, or contact Beiersdoerfer at or 283-2680. All donations are tax-deductible.

“This isn’t a First United Methodist Church project, it’s not a Sanctuary Trust project. It’s a community project,” Beiersdoerfer said.