Mar 31, 2009

FACS team renovates old house

by Abby Armbuster and Drew Menard

The gold colored walls begged for a makeover. The furniture and wallpaper were overdue for replacement, and the windows needed serious attention.

These, and many other renovations marked the to-do list of the Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) Association. The group, consisting of 30 students and a handful of parent volunteers, took on the task of remodeling a missionary house for Thomas Road Baptist Church (TRBC).

The house, which is rented from Liberty, is leased out to missionaries who are on furlough from the mission field. Missionaries from any sponsor are allowed to lease the space, although most of the tenants are sponsored by TRBC.

FACS Association member Michelle Otto said that some missionaries stay a couple of days, while others stay a couple of months.
“I was looking for another service project to do,” faculty advisor Matalie Howard said. “In the previous years, the FACS Association refurbished rooms at the Miller Home for Girls.”

Howard spoke to Lucky Billings, missions pastor at TRBC, for the opportunity. Billings offered a small budget to the association, and Howard put her students to work, giving them four weeks to complete the task. The service project was funded in part by the fashion shows that the FACS department holds throughout the year. Howard projects that the team was able to renovate the house for less than $1,500.
According to FACS Association President Kelly Kingsley, there were around 30 student volunteers and a few parents who helped on the project.

As soon as Howard and her volunteers entered the house, they could see the need for immediate improvements.

“The first thing that struck us was ‘get rid of the gold,’” Howard said.
According to Howard, every wall of the house was painted gold before
the renovation.

“Hundreds of hours were put in. I am really proud of my team,” Howard said.

Otto helped sew pillows, while other volunteers made a new headboard for the master bedroom of the house.

Howard saw an immediate need for new wallpaper and furniture, which were all replaced during the revovations.

“God was very good to us by providing good pieces of furniture,” Howard said.

Many of the beautiful pieces once filled Main Street at TRBC and were given to the re-design project by Paula Johnson, art director for TRBC.
Kingsley said that she was proud of what the team had accomplished.

“We really wanted a place where the missionaries could feel refreshed,” she said.

The re-furbished house was unveiled at an open house even on Thurs., March 26. The volunteers, along with members of TRBC, were personally invited to this event.

“It’s been very worthwhile to hear the comments tonight.” Howard said at the open house. “We were all excited.”

Billings said that the house is filling spots for missionary families throughout the year.

“It’s pretty booked up come fall,” he said.

Missionary parents whose students attend Liberty plan to come home for furlough as the school year begins, according to Billings.
Another house in the same complex is used as a missionary house as well.

“We’ve already heard that we’re wanted for the other house,” Howard said.

The next FACS Association fashion show will be April 3 at 7:30 p.m. in the Schilling Center. For more information, visit the FACS Department on Liberty’s Web page.

Contact Abby Armbruster at
Contact Drew Menard at


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