HomeCommunity NewsPresbyterian Church Joins Habitat for Humanity in Mississippi

Presbyterian Church Joins Habitat for Humanity in Mississippi

La Cañada Presbyterian Church recently sent 16 high school students, two staff members and six adult volunteers for their annual trip to help build houses with Habitat for Humanity in Tutwiler, Mississippi.
Led by Bob McGlashan and LCPC staff member Anna Duncan, the LCPC Habitat team framed the final house on the mission begun by LCPC nearly 40 years ago. The trip also marked the 20-year anniversary of current leader McGlashan, who was honored along with La Cañada Presbyterian Church, at a potluck at the end of the week, which was planned by Tutwiler residents, Habitat for Humanity board members and homeowners.
The volunteers returned to their dorm among the houses that LCPC has framed over the years, spending all of each day on the construction site and stopping only briefly at the end of the day to hang out with local youth at the community center before dinner.
On Sunday, the trip began with a visit to Rev. Willie Williams for church at Rollins United Methodist Church. Other outings included time at the Emmett Till Museum, his memorial site and the Sumner County Courthouse, where the Till murder trial took place.
Additionally, students — seven of whom returned from last year — were able to experience Mississippi culture driving through the birthplace of the blues, roaming cotton fields and enjoying true Southern comfort food and hospitality.
After long days on the jobsite turning two-by-fours into a future home, the team often ended evenings congregating in the dorm and eating dinner at local restaurants in the neighboring city of Clarksdale, at the home of philanthropist and longtime supporter Sykes Sturdivant or a Tutwiler community potluck dinner.

Anna Duncan, Charlotte Raulli, Chloe Nussbaum and Tatum Purdy were among the local residents who volunteered through La Cañada Presbyterian Church to build a Habitat for Humanity home in Mississippi.

“Finishing off each night with hours of card games in the dorm, LCPC’s Habitat team somehow framed a house in record time with as little as 4-5 hours of sleep each night.”
On Friday, the West Tallahatchie Habitat for Humanity board invited the volunteers to a potluck dinner at the community center. Waiting for the team’s arrival was a delicious spread, complete with every comfort food imaginable, including homemade desserts like sweet potato pie, lemon cake, chocolate cake and banana cream pudding.
To make the occasion even more sweet, community leaders Williams and Sherri Hill, who is the head of West Tallahatchie Habitat, honored McGlashan’s 20 years of service, friendship and generosity to the Tutwiler community. Attendees were able to meet and hear from homeowners residing in houses the LCPC community had framed, as well as from recently graduated college students that LCPC had gifted tuition scholarships. West Tallahatchie Habitat for Humanity also provided engraved plaques to both McGlashan and LCPC.

“Tutwiler and its residents continue to teach our team year after year profound lessons in love, gratitude and hospitality,” Duncan said. “For 40 years, LCPC Habitat teams have returned home, changed — grateful for their lives here and with a passion for service and outreach they may have not had before. Our team, alongside Habitat homeowners and staff, have come to deeply understand the power of Habitat’s mission, ‘One nail, one hammer, one house, one family at a time.’”
“We recognize that so many people from our La Cañada community have been a part of LCPC’s Habitat for Humanity project in Mississippi,” she added.
Duncan credits the success of the trip to its creator Bill Cunningham, Bob Hillar, Dennis Carpenter, McGlashan, all of the students, LCPC staff and other volunteers and supporters who have either attended the trip or generously donated toward scholarship funds that made it possible for others to participate.
“While we have framed our last house, we will return next year to complete further service projects in the community as we set up our next project that we pray will have the same length and legacy as this one,” Duncan said.
For more information on how to get a student involved in the church’s program, email Duncan at anna@lacanadapc.org.

First published in the April 20 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.


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