Luminary brings community together to build house for veteran

Luminary brings community together to build house for veteran

Virgil Sitzlar is congratulated for his new home, built by Luminary United Methodist Church and members of the community.

TEN MILE, Tenn. -- United Methodists in a little town called Ten Mile, Tennessee, saw an opportunity to put their love in action, and this is what happened:

A plan to move a Vietnam veteran out of unsafe living conditions, without running water, grew into a community project and the construction of this beautiful home.

Virgil Sitzlar is a longtime member of Luminary United Methodist Church, who always sits in the same spot for Sunday worship. His fellow congregants noticed a few years ago that Virgil also came to the church during the week, to use the restroom.

When a visit was made to Virgil’s home, just a few miles down the road from the church, they found a dilapidated house that was unfit for anyone to live in.

Led by Bill Hughes, church members pulled together to create “Project Virgil.” Initially, it was just a plan to remove the shack, clean up Virgil’s property, and install a mobile home.

When word got around about what the local United Methodist church was doing, people came out of the woodwork to help. Businesses, schools, organizations and individuals all came forward to donate their money, materials, and labor.

The community worked together to build a dream house for a Marine veteran who had served his country well.

When the house was finished, Luminary United Methodist Church hosted a grand unveiling of the home on July 20, attended by many of the people who were involved in making it happen.

After a consecration led by the Rev. Hugh Kilgore, Hiwassee District superintendent, and the Rev. Wayne Hedrick, pastor of Luminary Church, folks got to tour Virgil’s new home. Then they all sat down together for a community meal of barbecue and the fixings.


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Ben Smith

Ben Smith is Multimedia Specialist for Holston Conference.

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