Otis Campbell, of Stanwood, a member of The Seven Lakes Baptist Church, carries a board while helping to replace the siding on his church on Sept. 10. Members of the Lakewood ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints volunteered to help The Seven Lakes Baptist Church with repairs. (Ian Terry / The Herald)

Lakewood ward of LDS Church helps repair Seven Lakes Baptist church

STANWOOD — Two churches, one of the Mormon faith and one Baptist, in recent weeks came together to work for a shared belief of lending a hand to those in need.

Members of the Lakewood ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spent three Saturdays at a Baptist church in Stanwood. They removed water-damaged, wooden siding from the Seven Lakes Baptist Church, hammering new wood in its place.

The partnership began with two friends who met in the locker room at the YMCA in Marysville. Al Taniguchi told Tom Brock about his church. Seven Lakes Baptist was built by its congregation 35 years ago. It needed repairs. Water had dampened the boards near the base of the building. Taniguchi wanted to hire Brock, a career contractor, to do the work. Brock had something else in mind.

On Aug. 20, Brock brought three trucks full of tools and siding to Seven Lakes Baptist Church. He also recruited more than a dozen volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to form a construction crew with volunteers from Seven Lakes. By sundown they filled a dump truck with discarded wood.

Volunteers continued to work through heavy rainfall on the third and final work day, leaving the Baptist church with new siding around the base of the building.

“There’s a ton of stuff people can do if you want to help others. You just have to get working,” Brock said. “It’s just the way people should be.”

Taniguchi said the repairs took about 25 hours over the course of three days, finishing the project Sept. 17.

“It saved us hundreds of man hours,” Taniguchi said. “It was quite the undertaking.”

To Taniguchi’s knowledge, this is the first instance his congregation had partnered with another church. He said the experience set a precedent.

“They gave us some inspiration to pass on their commitment to the community,” Taniguchi said. “We can’t do anything in Washington, D.C., but we can do something here to help our community.”

Caitlin Tompkins: 425-339-3192; ctompkins@heraldnet.com.

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