of Hope.

We witness to others through fellowship and worship

Mission Statement: In the Carpenter's Footsteps

Provides services for churches and communities who need construction projects built or repaired. Opportunities are offered for people of all ages to share their faith, offer their services, perform manual labor and create friendships of many people in a global setting.

Stained Glass Artisans create Demand for Product in Jamaica Tuesday, 03 June 2008 12:10
A Christian association of entrepreneurs lead by Buddy and Patty Searcy representing the Carpenter’s Footsteps, Tallassee, Florida, USA, demonstrated a labor of love through their crafting of Stained Glass Window panels for the Anglican Church in Negril recently.

To date they have completed for the Anglican Church 6 stained glass panels with 19 more to go. The project will take up to two years with an early target date of March 2009. Asked if this work can be outsourced, Patty laughed and said that all the work is done by the group. She said indeed it "is a dying art one that she would love to see survive."

When the organizer of the Carpenter’s Footsteps accepts a project, it is not for profit; the cost of the materials and shipping are the required basic requirements for the completion of the project. Consequently, the demand for this service has escalated and requests are coming from all corners of the globe. Before coming to Jamaica the group worked in Costa Rica, Haiti and St. Vincent and other Caribbean countries which they seek out.

During a visit with the group of professional artisans at Negril Tree House on Monday, May 26, 2008, I met Inger Avant, Linda Stokes, John Towler, Bill Donalson and Buddy & Patty Searcy. When I arrived the artisans were improving the design of a stained glass window for the Anglican Church, Linda & Inger worked on the design, and then stopped to introduce the group.

The group recollected their early encounter with Pastor Winston Barrett of United Church in Red Ground, Negril where they erected a concrete block Manse (Pastor’s residence) in 1993. Today, Reverend Margaret Fowler officiates and it is out of this relationship that came the project to build a church in Santoy, Green Island. This church originally had a wood frame to which was added the concrete block construction to complete the sanctuary and fellowship hall. As time passed, the group solidified its relationship with Reverend Fowler, who had oversight responsibility for the United Church in Green Island.

Bill Donalson, a former teacher, is an active designer and builder of stained glass for churches who is a senior member of the group. He continued the story begun by Linda, Inger and John of the Carpenter’s Footsteps. He said that at the Santoy Church, the Sacred Heart and Crown of Christ stained glass were placed in the East window and that the sixteen-foot cross located at the east end of the building was the delight of the members when the sunlight reflected on it. He mentioned also the Nativity and the Crucifixion scenes located on the west wall.

Stained glass used to be very important in the past, Bill said that in Medieval times, parishioners who could not read relied on the stained glass motifs to tell the stories of Christianity. Mr. Donaldson reminds us that Chartres gothic Cathedral in Paris and Westminster Abbey in London, England are famous architectural monuments that depict the best of stained glass artistry.

A group of 10 Visual Arts Students and their teacher Morris Gayle from Rhodes Hall School in Hanover were invited by a board member of the school to learn some of the rudiments of stained glass construction. Each one was allowed hands on training by Mr. Donalson and the group. Reflecting on the encounter, Bill said he enjoyed having the children from Rhodes Hall High and would be interested in continuing the relationship in an effort to help sustain the future development of the craft.

Buddy Searcy and Patty Searcy, the husband and wife team, are founders of the organization who started 24 years ago by bringing young people to build churches and schools. They chose Jamaica to build a church in Paul Island with Eddie Caolsingh from Crystal Water Villas in Negril. Patty Searcy said "If anybody has a church to be built, we go... We usually go down and search it out. We are completely non-profit; each year the presbytery (church office) gives a certain amount of money to buy materials. People who come are volunteers; on this trip there were six volunteers at Tree House and Patty thanked Gail Jackson, owner for her hospitality. In July we will be in Costa Rica with twenty-eight volunteers where we will be building a Sunday school and an office."

The group looked forward to exploring the opportunity to work in the parish of Port Antonio next year. For more information on the history and work schedule of Buddy and Patty Searcy and the group, please visit

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 03 June 2008 12:22 )

In The Carpenters Footsteps, Inc.
2011 Saralee Lane
Tallahassee, FL 32312
(850) 893-2006
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