Church Renovation And Restoration
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Church Restoration And Renovation Services

717-288-2722

As Seen on TV! Fredrick and friends help restore house of worship for 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.'

Fredrick Taggart loves watching 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition'. The President of Fredrick & Emily's Renovations in Mount Joy loved it even more when he saw the end result of work his company did to help restore a 120-year-old church in downtown New Orleans for the show. A team of about 10 employees traveled to the devastated city during Mardi Gras to help restore 74 sections of pews for First Emmanuel Baptist Church on Carondelet Street.

First Emmanuel Baptist serves the community by feeding the homeless, offering day care for infants and providing a gymnasium for young people, according to 2theadvocate.com, a web site for The Advocate newspaper there. The church also operates 198 apartments for low income residents. Half of those apartments were devastated by the storm, according to the web site. Fredrick & Emily's specializes in church restoration, and does work all over the country. Often, the firm brings the pieces to it's Mount Joy warehouse for the restoration.

In keeping with the Extreme Makeover model, all the work to renovate the church was done on site in 100 hours. Taggart said his team arrived Sunday, Feb. 19, and had all 74 pews completed by that Wednesday. "All of us were tired," he said. The crew disassembled the pews and carried them into tents next to the church. "We cleaned them up and removed all the nails and screws that had been put into them in all different ways over the years. We also had to make some pieces that were missing." After new carpeting was installed, Taggart said, his crew reinstalled the pews. "We worked mostly around the clock," he said, "with the upholstery work taking up the night-time hours."

The project cost the company about $70,000. "It will be hard to make up that kind of money," he said, "but when you see the devastation here, it's very moving." Taggart said what made the devastation real to him was when he first drove through New Orleans after the storm. "They put a big 'X' on each house. Around the 'X' was the date it was searched, the initials of those who did the search and a number for the dead bodies and a number for those found alive," he said. "That stands out to me as real. People died."

Taggart took over the Mount Joy business when his father died 13 years ago. "He was doing mostly residential restoration," he said. "One day someone asked him about repairing some pews and he did." After getting into the network for church restoration, Fredrick moved the business strictly to church renovation. "We are a full-service one-stop shop for all restoration needs, but radius pews on a slope floor proved quite a challenge!"

The Rev. Charles Southall III, pastor of the church, said that only 300 of the 1,200 parishioners have returned so far. "When we walked in to see the congregation, they knew why we were there. It was very emotional," Taggart said. "It hits you pretty deeply. The biggest, toughest guys are the ones crying the hardest."


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