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Project Guidelines for Churches/Camps requesting help from Volunteer Christian Builders.

 Table of Contents

SectIon 1

Volunteer Christian Builders is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization with no paid employees. When someone joins VCB, they are agreeing to be self-supporting and have adequate accident and hospitalization coverage. The members are not reimbursed for personal expense, except for office supplies, postage, etc. VCB’s other operational expenses are for printing, advertising,facility expenses for the bi-annual meetings, and so forth. There is no office space expense because each officer works out of their home or RV. Thus over 80% of all funds received by VCB are used for tool purchases and repairs.

In Volunteer Christian Builders, no assignments are made to Crew Chiefs regarding what projects they will direct, nor are any assignments made to members as to the projects on which they will participate. When a completed VCB Project Questionnaire comes into the VCB Project Information Coordinator and is approved, it is distributed to all the VCB Crew Chiefs for there prayerful consideration; then the Crew Chief who feels led by the Lord to take that project communicates with the person designated as the Contact Person on the Project request form.

As a result of the Crew Chief and the Contact Person’s interaction, a time is established as to when the project will be worked, and the Crew Chief makes a determination as to how many workers will be needed.

The Crew Chief then contacts the Project Information Coordinator and a job notice is sent to all the working members. No member is assigned to work any particular project. When the working members receive a job notice, they prayerfully consider whether it is a project they should work. Those members who feel the Lord leading them to work an announced project then contact the Crew Chief who has accepted the project and ask to be placed on the list of workers.

When the working members who have volunteered to work a project arrive at the project site, it is the first time someone in VCB is subject to being assigned a particular task to perform regarding a building project. By volunteering to work the project, the VCB member is agreeing to accept direction from the Crew Chief and/or his assistant.

Section 2

Basic Guidelines for Churches

  • Due to the large number of requests we receive, please submit the VCB Project Request as soon as possible.

  • The slab foundation is to be poured and finished, including rough-in plumbing, and any metal building must be completed one week prior to the scheduled arrival of the Volunteer Christian Builders crew. (It might be noted that letters to Volunteer Christian Builders crew members are sent out weeks, usually months, in advance of the scheduled date of arrival.) The Crew Leaders may arrive on site several days prior to work beginning (depending on the crew) on the following Monday.

  • Temporary electric service for power tools and RV's is required near the slab site. The Volunteer Christian Builders will extend service to a distribution box on the slab for construction power. Check with electric utility to determine where permanent service will contact or enter the building. (See RV Parking Guidelines in section 4 of this booklet.)

  • If conventional framing is to be used, the bolts for the floor plates should be placed at approximately 4-ft. intervals and extend 2 to 2-1/4 in. above finished slab. Volunteer Christian Builders will drill floor plates and bolt them down.

  • An area of approximately 15 feet around the slab should be smoothed and free of pot holes.

  • The Church is to designate "one" person to present any requested changes in the plans to the CREW CHIEF ONLY.

  • This individual should be present at the building site throughout the building process with the authority to make decisions.

  • Other church members should not request changes of the Crew Chief or other Volunteer Christian Builders.

  • The Church should make arrangements for ALL framing material (including windows) to be on site prior to the scheduled starting date of construction. A firm schedule should be made (confirmed the week prior to start of construction) for pre-built trusses. Other materials (sheet rock, nails, baptistery, etc.) should have firm delivery dates.

  • The Church should designate someone from the church to be present during construction days who will secure needed materials.

  • It is the RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CHURCH to determine if any permits and inspections are required and to SECURE them. The Volunteer Christian Builders will endeavor to meet and/or exceed all construction codes and inspections.

  • CREW CHIEFS have the option to furnish all power-driven fasteners for their tools. If they decide to furnish them, a bill will be submitted at the end of the project and payment is expected prior to the CREW CHIEFS leaving the site.

  • Due to lead-time required to fabricate baptistery, steeples, and trusses, the firms furnishing these should be contacted 60-90 days prior to construction starting date. It is expected that the church will contact suppliers for all materials, unless the Crew Chief specifically requests otherwise.

  • The Church should attempt to have a clean-up crew at the building site each evening.

  • Scissor lifts may be required for high walls or ceilings.

Section 3

Daily and Weekly Schedules:

Our crews normally work 5 days a week, usually from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm daily, taking 12:00 to 1:00 off for lunch and having a morning and afternoon break. During our morning break we have a short devotional each day. Our Retiree Crews generally work 2 weeks at a time. Some of our ladies choose to work with the men, others serve in different ways. Our Local Crews (non-retirees, sometimes call Summer Crews) generally work 1 week periods, but keep approximately the same daily work schedule.

VCB Retiree & Summer Crews can do the following:

  • Frame building either conventionally or frame interior of metal building, using either metal or wood studs.

  • Stick built roof construction or installation of trusses. (Preference is for pre-built trusses and if truss span is greater than 35 feet, a crane will be needed to set the trusses.)

  • Install rough-in electrical, including breaker box. (Based on local ordinances and permits.)

  • Complete plumbing rough-in above slab depending on plumber availability.

  • Install insulation.

  • Install sheet rock and exterior siding.

  • Install platform, baptistery and steeple.

  • Complete outside trim, cornice and porches.

  • Install exterior windows, hang doors and interior trim.

  • Tape, float, texture and paint on a limited basis.

  • Perform all work according to local and national codes.

  • Install suspended ceiling grids and tiles.

  • Build and install kitchen and bath cabinets.

  • Install floor coverings on a limited basis.

VCB does not do the following:

  • Lay brick or do concrete work.

  • Deck or roof buildings with greater than 6/12 pitch.

  • Heating and Air Conditioning

  • Secure any permits required.

  • Engineer, draw or design the building


Section 4

RV Parking Guidelines

REQUIRED: One or two dedicated 120/240-volt 200-amp electrical feed-thru panels (depends on number of RVs) with feed-thru lugs for 2/0 copper or 4/0 aluminum wire. Alternately, two legs of 120/208-volt wye connection may be used. Each 200 amp Disconnect is to be fed from a power source with a minimum of 50 KVA capacity and be within 50 feet of the RV parking. Please emphasize to the power company that 200 amps is a continuous load and no derating should be applied. The Volunteer Christian Builders will supply their electrical distribution system for the RV's.

A feed-thru panel typically consists of a main breaker, space for several branch circuit breakers, and then large lugs at the bottom of the bus bars for a full-capacity sub-feed. This panel needs to have at least a 120/240-volt, 200 Amp capacity (or two legs of 120/208 volt wye.) The VCB Crew Chief (or his designee) will connect 2/0 to 4/0 leads (electric wire sizes) to these large lugs at the bottom of the bus bars to feed the RV power distribution system he brings with him, as well as the neutral and ground wire sub-feeds. A typical panel drawing might look something like this:










Section 5

Such panels are often used on such things as Mobile and Modular homes, where the outside meter and disconnect are located some distance from the inside load center, which comes pre wired from the factory, and is not necessarily in a prime location.

  • This allows the church to have a panel installed outside, convenient for the utility company, and then the VCB crew to run a sub-feed from it for the power distribution system they bring with them. In the drawing there are a few circuits included in the panel that could serve such things as an outbuilding(garage or shed), security or site lighting, well or sewer pump(s), etc.

  • A typical meter, main panel, and feed-thru assembly can be had in a single enclosure,

  • One such connection will supply enough power for about 15 RVs. For a job requiring more workers there should be one setup as described about for each 15 RVs, or portion thereof; for example, for 24RVs we would need two feed-thru panels.

  • A minimum of one water connection (hose bib) for the RVs, within 50 ft. of the trailer parking area, is all we need.

  • Sewage facilities will need to be made available for RV's gray water (dish water, hand washing, and bathing) and black water (sewage.) Often in rural areas the gray water can be drained directly on the ground away from the parking area, using the Volunteer Christian Builders’ hoses. Our Crew Chiefs all carry a compact, 12-volt electrically powered waste elimination system, call a macerator pump. This unit attaches to an RV allowing the RV’s “black water” (sewage) to be pumped from 300 to 400 feet through a series of garden hoses to a sewer cleanout or septic tank. The crew chief provides the hoses that are necessary. When there is no cleanout or septic tank in which to pump, usually a company, such as” Johnny-on-the-Spot,” can be found that will provide plastic tanks that can be used for this purpose, and then after the job the company will pump out the tanks and carry them away.

  • A dumpster or some other container and/or someone to dispose of garbage and trash as needed should be arranged. The Volunteer Christian Builders will deliver their bagged garbage to the designated collection point.

  • The trailer parking area should be smooth and free of large rocks or holes. If covered with grass, it should be mowed just prior to the arrival of the trailers. Please check the site for fire ants, chiggers, etc., and treat prior to arrival of trailers.


  • Ask your local electrical utility to install the permanent service transformer for the building prior to start of construction. Usually this transformer is of adequate size for the power to the trailer park and will be installed without charge. In most cases, the utility will charge the church to "put up and take down" a transformer for temporary electric service.

  • The Crew Chief and his assistant may arrive several days before the starting date. This will vary by crew. These men will install their water and electrical lines within the trailer parking area. Retiree crews will be in RV's (generally for 2 weeks), whereas, non-retiree crews have a few RV's, stay in motels, members' homes or at the church (generally for 1 week).

Section 6

Meals & Breaks Guidelines

  • Although it is not required, the local church is asked to furnish 1 or 2 meals per day on the days the crew works (usually Monday through Friday) for the workers and their wives, depending on the churches ability to do so. This usually is a light lunch (for instance, sandwiches and/or soup) and a hot meal for supper. (Often other local churches will provide some of the meals if the church or Associational Director of Missions contacts them.) Volunteer Christian Builders will provide for their own breakfast and breaks. For non-retiree summer crews, breakfast may be requested.

  • We strongly encourage the local church members to sit down with us for food and fellowship at all meals and breaks. We have a devotional period after each morning break. Garbage bags should be available to dispose of paper plates, plastic ware, napkins, and cups from meals and breaks.

  • The church is asked to furnish ice for meals, breaks and drinking water at the work site.

Miscellaneous Guidelines

  • If a cherry picker, forklift or front-end loader is available from a church member, this will save time and work for the Volunteer Christian Builders if they do not have to set trusses by hand.

  • If equipment is available to off-load lumber, shingles, sheet rock, etc., it is very helpful.

  • Check with several suppliers of materials for best prices. They can also help determine quantities of materials for you. Often suppliers will “throw in” two or three cases of nails if requested when the lumber is ordered (if you request such nails, please ask the VCB Crew Chief what type nails they will be needing prior to requesting them.)

  • The installer of the HVAC will need to coordinate ductwork installation prior to sheetrock work.

  • The Baptistery to be installed should on site by the first day of construction.

  • It cannot be over-emphasized that materials must be on-site prior to the start of construction. Most churches and suppliers do not realize how fast a truckload of material can be used in framing up a building with a crew of 20 men.

  • We strongly encourage church members to be a part of the construction crew.

  • Our ladies are generally willing to join with members of the church to participate in other ministries such as projects to benefit community ministries.

  • VCB has a website and a Facebook page, if we come to your project we may post pictures in these places

Section 7



Working Together


Texas Baptist Men & Volunteer Christian Builders have joined together to form a cabinet building crew that is a group of volunteers who build for the glory of God; helping churches spread the good news of Jesus Christ.


TBM-Ralph Stephenson, 120 Ranger Dr., Boerne, TX 78006, Cell: 210-846-1715, E-Mail:

VCB-Jimmy Richardson, 340 Georgia Ann, Pleasanton, TX 78064, Cell: 830-570-2597, E-Mail:


Build and install:

  • Cabinets normally required in kitchen.

  • Additional cabinets for kitchen, which are not normally required, such as islands, oven cabinets, pass through tops, etc.

  • Cabinets in bathrooms, such as vanities, storage cabinets, etc.

We also can build:

  • Shelving units for storage when time permits. These may be built in place or freestanding units, with or

without doors.

  • Office desks, bookcases, etc.

  • Storage units or other items for S.S. Classrooms

  • Other special items may be built if time permits.

We provide door hinges, drawer guides, and other supplies such as nails, glue, sandpaper, etc. which the church will pay for at the completion of the job.

Note: Unless otherwise agreed upon, cabinet doors will be 5-piece, flat panel type. Hinges will be burnished bronze Amerock CM7139 self-closing and exterior wood will be red oak suitable for stain finish.



  • Apply finish such as paint or stain. All cabinets will be installed unfinished.

  • Supply or install door and drawer pulls. This will need to be done after the finish is applied.

  • Install laminate or prefabricated countertops or tile countertops.



RV parking space

  • Provide a parking space for us to park our RVs (up to l0 RVs). This space should be as near to the work site as possible.

  • Provide an electric power source (120/240 volt, 3 wire single phase, 200 amp capacity) at or near the RV parking space.

  • Provide a source of water at or near the RV parking space.

  • Provide a sewage facility at or near the RV parking space. A 4" opening at or below ground level, into the city sewer system or the septic system is fine.

 Work space

  • Provide a work space of at least 1200 square feet. This space may be in more than one room but there must be one room with at least 600 square feet. This space must also be located where we can move our equipment in and set up a woodworking shop. A 36" wide or wider door is required.

  • Provide an electric power source (120/240-volts, 3 wire single phase, 60 amp capacity) at or near the work space. If the building has electricity it is usually possible to get this power from the breaker panel.

Building material and appliances

The coordinator or someone representing him will visit the church several days before time for the job to start and review the job requirements. He then will send to the church a list of the materials needed to do the job. It is the responsibility of the church to have the material on site when the job begins. The church should have the appliances to be used on hand, or at least have the specifications showing the rough-in requirements for all the appliances.

Meals & Breaks Guidelines

  • Although it is not required, the local church is asked to furnish 1 or 2 meals per day on the days the crew works (usually Monday through Friday) for the workers and their wives, depending on the churches ability to do so. This usually is a light lunch (for instance, sandwiches and/or soup) and a hot meal for supper.

  • Builders will provide for their own breakfast and breaks.

  • Garbage bags should be available to dispose of paper plates, plastic ware, napkins,

  • and cups from meals and breaks.

  • The church is asked to furnish ice for meals, breaks and drinking water at the work site.


Additional notes

The tool trailer will arrive a few days before the job starts. The trailer needs to be parked in a safe place. A delivery fee will be required to paid to TBM for the tool trailer delivery. The coordinator will advise the church as to the expected amount of the fee and payment information.

At the completion of the job a bill will be presented to the church for the supplies that have been used from the tool trailer, such as nails, screws, glue, hinges, drawer guides, etc. This invoice will also include a charge of $10.00 per day for tool maintenance (repairs to equipment such as nail guns and sanders, saw sharpening, etc.)

Major tools and supplies are provided to TBM through gifts from Texas Baptists and the Mary Hill Davis Offering for Texas Missions.

Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Sectio 5
Section 6
Section 7

Volunteer Christian Builders is a non-profit 501c3 organization made up of volunteers of all ages and walks of life.  We work together with one common goal that binds us all together: the desire to help churches and christian camps build buildings they could not do without volunteer labor.  We are fully funded by individuals and churches.  To learn more about our history visit our blog posts.  

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