Team from Isabella Baptist Church builds more than 100 wheelchair ramps


SYLVESTER, Ga. — When Ricky Braswell, weakened by chemotherapy and radiation, began having trouble maneuvering the steps into his home, a team of builders from Isabella Baptist Church showed up to construct an access ramp.

Problem solved.

Braswell’s ramp was only the latest built by the Isabella volunteers who have completed 108 such projects for residents of Worth County over the past decade.

In the hands of this team of builders, circular saws and cordless screwdrivers hum a love song of sorts for people who depend on wheelchairs to get around or who have difficulty with steps because of hip and knee replacements or other medical issues.

Pastor Jason Jones said the volunteers, led by Curt Clark of Sylvester, are a hardworking group who take time out of their own busy schedules because they enjoy helping people in need.

“We have three or four people on a waiting list for ramps right now,” Jones said. “So, this is a really busy time for them.”

Jones said the well-practiced team typically can knock out an access ramp in half a day, depending on its size.

“They’ve got their niche down,” he said. “They can get with it.”

The volunteers build the ramps at no charge to the recipients because they’re paid for through donations.

For the volunteers, their pay is simply knowing they’ve helped someone at a critical time in their lives.

“The satisfaction comes from the expressions on the faces of the people we’ve built the ramps for,” Jones said. “They truly appreciate it.”

The recipients receive more than ramps.

“We give each of them a Bible,” Jones said. “We always take the opportunity to pray with them. We share the gospel, and a couple of times people have prayed to receive Christ out of the ministry.”

Clark said building ramps isn’t cheap. Construction costs of the average ramp, he said, have doubled over the years to between $1,500 and $2,000.

“We have a good time doing this together,” Clark said of his team members. “And we enjoy getting to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We’re going to continue doing it as long as the Lord sees fit.”