Fuller Center Breaks Ground with Georgia Southwestern University in Joint Housebuilding Effort

Published 9:49 am Tuesday, March 5, 2024

The Fuller Center is committed to providing housing to those in need. Its newest project is in Americus Georgia. President of the Center, David Snell, addressed those gathered, talking about the legacy of the founder Millard Fuller. “Millard had 40 years of ministry from the time he started until the day he died. And the Carters had 40 years of ministry from 84 till now, as their time of ministry is coming to a close. So we want to honor them with this house.”

The Fuller Center plans to collaborate with Georgia Southwestern in the construction of the house. President of Georgia Southwestern, Dr. Neal Weaver, gave an address. “We’re starting what we hope is a new tradition at Georgia Southwestern, called the big event. And the big event is an opportunity for us as a campus for our students, our faculty and staff to all come together for a day or a couple of weeks and say thank you to the community that hosts them.”

He talked about the commitment it would take to finish the project. “It’s gonna require over 600 hours of volunteer work from our students from our faculty and our staff. But we are excited about every single one of those hours, this is a great opportunity for us to be involved in something very special, something that is meaningful, something that changes people’s lives. And one of the things we try to do at Georgia Southwestern is make sure that our students know that not only are you responsible for yourself, and for making yourself better, and your life better, but you’re also responsible to the people around you and to the communities that you live in, and the communities that you serve in.”

Afterward Dr. Weaver gave more details about the project. He talked about how the Carter’s were an inspiration to those on Georgia Southwestern Campus. “They’ve been a part of our campus for many, many years. And so to do something to honor them and to hopefully put in action the behaviors they taught us, and that they’ve instilled in the campus is really special.”

Weaver mentioned a wide range of organizations planned to work on the project, including the Jimmy Carter Leadership program. “A lot of our fraternities and sororities have signed up. Student Government has signed up their students. Our athletic teams are gonna be participating, faculty, staff members, you’re gonna see an enormous number of GSW people out here, working and getting this done.” He ended by emphasizing that it was a campus wide opportunity, embodying the spirit of Georgia Southwestern University.

Afterward Mayor Lee Kinnamon spoke, recognizing Diadra Powell, the Americus City Manager, Roger Willis, Director of Building Risk Management, and all other City employees present. “We’re appreciative to have everyone here. When we’re working together for a common good, we can achieve so much more. And I have to give an enormous amount of credit to Dr. Weaver and his staff for taking on a big event, such as building a house in this community. And I think that is a testament to the spirit of collaboration that exists between Georgia Southwestern, and this community and the greater area of southern County in southwest Georgia. And thank everyone for your support and partnership and your volunteer efforts, presumably because somebody will be out here working, swinging a hammer. So I thank you all very much.”

Whittenberg students were responsible for a two-by-four frame that marks the start of the project. Whittenberg student Katie Troyer talked about how they came to be volunteering in Sumter County. “We have a week span. Everyone gets to pick where they want to go. And this was one of the places and we saw building a house and we just decided to come here and some of our friends came last year, so we want to check it out.”

She talked about another project she worked on, refurbishing a roof at Koinonia farms. “We tore off all the shingles, we were on top of it, and then we put on new shingles this past weekend. We actually finished it yesterday.”

After that project was completed, they built the two-by-four structure, marking the beginning of the Fuller Center project and GSW’s big event.

The site has an interesting history. Formerly, a derelict house marked the spot. Since taxes were due, the owner deeded it to the Land Bank, allowing the taxes to be paid, and the land to find new use.