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The Master's Hands - Ministry Has A Double Purpose | By Nathan Walls

Whether traveling to Mississippi to repair homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina or putting a new roof on the Fayetteville home of a retired minister, The Master’s Hands reaches out to help others.

The Master’s Hands is a group of members of Haymount United Methodist Church. They respond to needs for home repairs as a way to honor the memory of late church member Buddy Masters and to minister in the name of the Master, Jesus Christ.

Buddy Masters' tools were donated to the church by his wife, Sarah, upon his death last year.

He was the church's do-it-all guy, from grounds manager to project organizer. He is described as an overall great guy whose personality made him a friend to everybody. He had the tools, literally and spiritually.

"Everybody loved Buddy," Sarah Masters said.

"Buddy was just one of those people you could walk up to and have an immediate conversation with,” said Mike Packard, a Master's Hands member. "Buddy was just a real people person and nice to everybody. Buddy would shake everybody's hand and talk to every child."

Even though Buddy Masters' name is used in the group title and the mission trailer says "In Memory of Buddy Masters," Mrs. Masters insists Buddy would not have wanted to be the focus.

"The program is not strictly to honor Buddy, it is a service for the church," she said. "It is The Master's Hands, referring to Jesus. It definitely refers to Christ being a carpenter."

The same skills that Jesus Christ honed as a carpenter are being applied by The Master's Hands participants, who work on monthly projects. Members of the group worked with Buddy Masters on mission projects, and when he passed away, the donation of the tools inspired church members to continue under a banner bearing his name. They have done so through further tool donations and many projects that have helped a great many people.

Groups of eight to ten have traveled to Mississippi to repair homes ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. They have assisted another local housing mission effort, Operation Inasmuch, and they have put a new roof on a retired minister’s home. The Masters Hands also assists other churches on projects.

The Master's Hands gets direction from the United Methodist Council on Relief on where to go and how to do it. For $100 per person each trip to Mississippi, members were provided bunk beds and food. The group is a part of the Marion Edwards Recovery Center Initiatives, which allows the church to be first responders to emergency situations.

People in the community have helped the group. Mike Lallier from Reed-Lallier Chevrolet, Keith Horn from Sandy Ridge Electric, Bobby Hurst from Hurst-Annaho, Dan Kinlaw from International Moving and Storage and Brad Pittman from Erwin Tools have all donated items to The Master's Hands.

Al Miller, an organizer of The Master's Hands, is proud of the work that has been done.

"It is just a way for our church to reach out to others who need help," Miller said.

The help that has been given to the people of Mississippi has been extra special. The church group has been there numerous times. On one trip, Sarah Masters, 73, went along to assist.

"It was a wonderful trip," she said. "There were six men and four women. Three of the four women certainly knew their way around a nail and hammer. It was certainly rewarding and very worthwhile."

A parallel is seen between Scripture and a project that the group worked on in Mississippi.

There, the group found a man who was legally blind who needed repairs to his houseboat. The Master's Hands stepped in and replaced the floor. Once again, just like in the Bible, a blind man's life was improved and a miracle on water occurred at the touch of The Master's Hands.