Chris McRee knows his way around a wood shop.
He said he started working with his dad when he was little, and that beginning spurred a lifelong love and a realization that he could build just about anything he set his mind to.
McRee is a member of Westwood Baptist Church in Alabaster. The church’s theme for Bible School this year is “Rocky Railway.”
“And when they said it was a train-themed vacation Bible School, I said ‘OK, I’m up for the challenge,’ ” McRee said.
He started with two 50-gallon barrels and went from there.
“No plans, no thought process, it’s like OK, I’ve got this part done so to build the next step, take some measurements and figure out what I need to do next and so it just went from there,” he said.
Ric Callahan is the family pastor at Westwood Baptist, and with COVID-19 he said they weren’t sure if they could even pull off Bible School this year.
“Bible School’s one of the biggest weeks of the year for children and it’s one of the most exciting weeks of the year for our church and for me personally,” Callahan said. “And so if there was any way we could make it happen, we were going to do it this year.”
They’re making it happen all right. This year, Bible School is being held in various backyards.
The train was moved into the church lobby and volunteers are painting it. Once it’s finished, it will be used for video performances taped before Bible School week.
“You know, I’m gonna build something the same whether there’s a bunch of kids running around playing on it or if it’s just gonna be on a camera and then somebodies at home watching it, you know it’s all about the details that really bring it home to make it special,” McRee said.
Times change and Bible School may be different this year, but Callahan said whatever the theme, the message stays the same.
“But in addition to that we want to make sure that kids learn that Jesus loves them, Jesus cares about them, Jesus is always be with them,” he said. “And, even this year especially our theme is “Rocky Railway”and it’s talking about dealing with difficult times so it runs great with our theme to be dealing with the Covid-19 virus.”