Joy El breaks ground for worship center

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
With great excitement, 11 students used “gold” shovels, digging in unison to begin the construction process at the ground breaking ceremony for Camp Joy El’s new worship center. From left to right, bottom: Heather Hockenberry, Denae Hornbaker, Ashlyn Pearrell, Nathan Ressler and Aaron Johnson. Middle: Stephanie Thompson, Abigail Ziebarth, and Josiah Ziebarth Top: Hannah Black, Anna Ziebarth and Alex Cheremesino.

It is with great excitement that Joy El Ministries in Greencastle broke ground for its Worship Center.  On Sunday, Sept. 12, a gathering of ministry supporters, board members and camp staff joined together for the official ceremony marking the beginning of construction. After several years of planning and the generous giving from many people, the concept will soon become a reality, according to Dick Marks, chairman of the “Catch the Vision… Build the Future” campaign.

The ceremony began with the invocation from Ward Childerston, honorary campaign chair for the “Catch the Vision… Build the Future” campaign. Aaron Ziebarth, executive director of Joy El reported that over the past two years the real push has been in contacting those who believe in the mission of Joy El to become financial partners as well.  Ziebarth stated that much has been accomplished with a remaining balance of just $65,000 of the $749,000 total needed to complete construction. An additional $150,000 is then needed to complete the splashground.

To represent the focus of Joy El, 11 children who have been involved in camping and other related Joy El ministries performed the traditional turning of soil for groundbreaking. 

Also in attendance for the event was William Eichelberger, President of eciGroup, the general contractor for the worship center. Contractor David Maldonado, and architect Rick Fogal were also present.

Ziebarth was pleased to announce that construction time is approximately six months and should begin soon. This will ensure that the worship center is available before next year’s heavy summer schedule.

Joy El Ministries board of directors gathered for the groundbreaking ceremony for the start of construction for Camp Joy El’s new worship center. From left to right Ward Childerston; Penny Marks, Vice Chair; Janice Oliver; Bill Dick, Chair; Aaron Ziebarth, Executive Director; Todd Streett; Jeff Bean; Brian Harbaugh; Rod Teach; Jeff Hockenberry, Secretary; and John Smoker.