First 1,000 One-Day Churches Manufactured
Africa gains structures for growing congregations
BY WENDI ROGERS, Maranatha Volunteers International
dventist Laymen’s Services and Industries (ASI) produced the 1,000th One-Day Church kit in March, marking what the organization hopes is only the beginning of what will be thousands of such kits headed to places like Ecuador, Mozambique, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Swaziland. The One-Day Church is a collaborative effort of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, ASI, and Maranatha Volunteers International to help meet the needs of thousands of Adventist congregations around the world that do not have a church home.
The basic ingredient of the One-Day Church is steel. Lots and lots of steel, it turns out. ASI recently purchased the first bulk shipment of 14-gauge steel—2 million pounds worth, which arrived by flatbed truck and railcar at McNeilus Steel, Inc. in Minnesota. There the 45,000-pound coils are transformed into the appropriate-sized pieces.
WELCOME TO WORSHIP: Congregants at one of the 1,000 new “One-Day Church” structures enter to worship. Churches are being built in Africa thanks to volunteer effort and donations from believers. [PHOTO: MVI]
Nearby, at the One-Day Church fabrication shop, the metal pieces are formed into 18 parts and stacked in shipping containers. Once filled, the containers are trucked to Baltimore, Maryland and put on a ship for transport to their pre-determined destination.
The One-Day Church initiative, created and developed by businessman Garwin McNeilus, features a rugged, galvanized steel structure with vented roof. The structure is high in quality, low in cost, and easily constructed. Volunteers and locals assemble the church in just one day, while church members complete the walls and floor according to local customs and availability of materials. Local members help in the construction of their new church and are responsible for preparing the building site and obtaining any needed permissions.
McNeilus says the One-Day Church requires members to invest in the structure because they must finish their walls with bamboo, bricks, or other readily available materials. They take ownership in the building because they are part of the process, he says.
Maranatha has found that a church structure is invaluable to a congregation’s success. “An established church building enhances membership retention and provides a permanent Adventist presence in the community,” says Don Noble, Maranatha’s president. “With the One-Day Church program, we are able to provide many, many more churches to places in need.”
ASI and Maranatha have received requests for more than 25,000 churches around the world.
The One-Day Church weighs just 1,300 pounds, is 20 x 38 feet, and seats approximately 150 people. The cost of the church is $3,000. Through matching funds provided by ASI, the first 4,000 churches can be sponsored for $1,500.



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