I don’t know how many years Bob Palmer has been volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, but I do know this: for as long as I’ve been at First Baptist he’s been “Mr. Habitat.”
I was glad to discover First Baptist was involved with Habitat when I arrived five years ago. I’ve volunteered a lot of hours to help people have decent, affordable housing and once had breakfast with Millard Fuller, Habitat’s founder, whose motto was: “No more shacks!” Bob Palmer is committed to that vision, and like Mr. Fuller, sees it as a way of putting his faith into practice.
One of the other things I’ve admired about Bob is his commitment to racial reconciliation. He’s become friends with one of the deacons at First African Baptist Church and they regularly dream about how our two churches might partner more closely. One of those ways is Habitat’s “Faith Build,” when members of the faith community are encouraged to volunteer. Not long ago I spent a day with several members of First Baptist and First African as we worked on a Habitat house together. Driving nails side by side is a wonderful way to forget your differences and find out how much you have in common, and to learn that every once in a while everybody–even the most experienced volunteer–bends a nail.
So, thanks to Bob and the other FBC members pictured in this video who are bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to Richmond, Virginia, through Habitat for Humanity. The families who move out of their shacks and into these beautiful homes may conclude that, for them at least, the Kingdom has come