Wilson Habitat director Tory Tredway gave the opening remarks.
“We are honored to share this with Demichael Phillips and his family, and we are delighted to be able to help him,” Tredway said. “It’s a major process to build a home and we cannot do it without the help of the community. This build in particular was sponsored by area churches. We cannot do what we do without the support of our faith community.”
Eight local churches were part of this build, known as a “faith build,” Tredway said. Among the churches were the Bridge Fellowship, College Hills Church of Christ, First United Methodist Church, Generation Changers Church, Maple Hill Church of Christ, Mt. Juliet Church of Christ, Providence United Methodist Church and St. Stephen Catholic Community.
Members of Maple Hill Church of Christ presented Phillips with a quilt made by those involved in the church’s quilt ministry.
John McCarthy, volunteer services coordinator from St. Stephen Catholic Community, spoke on behalf of all the churches in the area.
“St. Stephen Catholic Community has sponsored some 20 plus homes,” he said. “Today we are pleased to help sponsor volunteers on this new home for Michael and his family. He’s an outstanding young man. May God bless you and your family with this beautiful new home.”
Tom Wallace, on the Wilson Habitat board presented a Bible to Phillips.
“In Leviticus, God talks about his community and talking care of each other,” Wallace said. “When you see someone in need, give to them without interest. That’s what you have. When you got this house at no interest, then you can pay this thing off.”
Wilson Habitat board chair Joe Ali presented Phillips with a mortgage agreement, which means every “payment you make it’s closer and closer to the American dream of owning your own house. The second thing I have are the keys to your new house. This not only opens your new house, but it also opens a better life for you, your family and your kids.”
Veronica Mallicoat, Habitat’s homeowner services manager, presented Phillips a book of photos of the house as it progressed from a foundation to the home that stands.
“We’re so proud of you,” she said.
Phillips’ mom, Deborah Reed, also spoke to the group.
“I just want to say thank you to every one of you,” she said. “This has always been a dream of his. Even as a young child growing up, he’s always wanted to own his own home. It’s so awesome that you have helped him through this build. This is a blessing that he has been waiting for a long, long time. He is just ecstatic.”
Tredway said it is ironic that his house is a faith build because “it is his faith that brought him through this. He is a very faithful man. We encourage you to be a man of faith and of God and let continue to grow. You are a blessing to others as this house is a blessing to you.”
Phillips spoke to those in attendance.
“I first would like to thank God, because without him none of this would be possible,” he said. “I’d also like to thank Habitat who took someone who dreamed of owning a home and made it a reality. My church that I go to in Murfreesboro, Olive Branch Church, always says, ‘be careful how you entertain strangers because they might be angels.’ Over these last four weekends, I don’t look at you as strangers. I look at you as angels.”