By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
The way Rick Jeffery sees it, he’s been blessed by helping others.
Jeffery, owner of Rick’s Brick Repair, has offered to volunteer his time working on bricks in need of repair at Keizer Community Church, located at 380 Churchdale Avenue N. Members of the church gratefully accepted the offer and work began last week.
“For a church, you can’t go wrong doing stuff,” Jeffery said. “I do a lot of volunteer work on churches. You can’t go wrong when helping a church.”
Don Oman said the church dates back to the 1940s and has been in need of repair for a while, especially around the brickwork.
“The old grout is cracked and water was leaking in,” Oman said. “I was driving around one day and I saw this sign for brick repair. I stopped in and saw Rick. He said, ‘If you chip things out and pay for the new material, I will grout and put it in free of charge.’ I was shocked, in this day and time, someone would donate their time like that.”
Two weeks ago Oman pressure washed the church for nearly six hours, then did the same thing the following day. Jeffery and others started on the brick work last week and are expected to finish next week.
Of course, there was a bump along the way.
“We’re doing all the bricks on these two walls,” Oman said, motioning to walls on the west side of the building. “These bricks have not been made since 1958. No one has them in this size.”
As such, Oman said new bricks will be used, with useable old bricks cleaned and saved for future use.
“This is the first repair job we’ve done on these bricks,” he said.
Like Oman and others, Mike Kitchen was amazed someone was willing to step up and donate his labor to the church.
“It’s unbelievable,” Kitchen said. “Rick’s a fantastic guy. He would normally charge about $5,000 for a project like this. You don’t find something like this anymore.”
When he actually started on the project, Jeffery realized the size of the task ahead.
“It was in pretty rough shape,” he said. “It was a lot more than I thought it would be. When you look at the mortar joints, they are deteriorating. You can’t get the brick that matches in this size.”
Despite the setbacks, Jeffery has enjoyed the project and particularly the people he’s met at the church.
“They’ve been excellent to work with,” Jeffery said. “It’s fun to work with nice people.”