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Home a welcome sight for Brantleys
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Donna Leach of Rincon United Methodist Church presents a quilt, with a Bible verse on each square, to the Brantleys. - photo by Photo by Pat Donahue
Sponsoring churches
Olive Branch Baptist Church
Baptist Church at Ebenezer
Bethel Lutheran Church
Countryside Baptist Church
First Baptist Church of Rincon
First Baptist Church of Springfield
Meldrim United Methodist Church
New Providence Baptist Church
Powers Baptist Church
Springfield United Methodist Church
Turkey Branch United Methodist Church

Heather Brantley didn’t get to enjoy her new home very much on the first night — not with all the duties of moving in she had to do.

Her boys, all five of them, wasted no time in delighting in their residence, a result of Habitat for Humanity and Loving Our Neighbor.

“I was still moving stuff in, so I didn’t get to enjoy it,” she said. “But they enjoyed it.”

The Brantleys moved into their Brandi Lane home on June 25, and the Effingham chapter of Habitat for Humanity held a dedication for the house Saturday morning. For Brantley and her five sons — David, Michael, Sean, Jonathan and Paul — the time from groundbreaking for their home to their move-in date was three months.

Eleven churches, along with scores of individual volunteers and contractors, joined forces to build the home. From start to finish, the entire project took about five months.

“I’m still in shock,” Brantley said.

The volunteers expressed their appreciation for being able to take part.

“It’s a great day in the neighborhood,” said Floyd Zettler. “It’s been a great project, a great project for us, for God’s children and for Heather and her children.”

On a wall of the house is portrait of David Brantley, Heather’s late husband and the boys’ late father. David Brantley died from cancer a year ago.

“We understand you lost your father,” Zettler said to the boys. “But you have your Heavenly Father. You’re a great family; you’re a deserving family. We want to say ‘thank you’ for the opportunity.”

With five boys, that means three bedrooms for them and a master bedroom for Heather Brantley. The boys’ rooms, however, have a different motif. Thanks to the handiwork of First Baptist Church of Rincon associate pastor Bill Gammon, the walls of the boys’ rooms are adorned in Georgia Bulldog colors and art.

“They all said they wanted UGA,” she said.

The cost of the land was $16,000 and the home itself was $30,000. The house is 2,100 square feet, larger than normal Habitat homes. The plans called for a garage but Brantley asked to have it changed to a playroom for the boys, bringing the total square footage to 2,100.

“For us, this is how it should be done,” said Jimmy Rutland, executive director of Effingham’s Habitat chapter, “God’s people seeing a need and rising up.”

Brantley offered her gratitude for a new home for her and her boys.

“Without y’all and without God, this wouldn’t be possible,” she said to the volunteers who gathered to participate in the dedication. “This has brought us closer together as a family. It shows God is awesome, and He can get us through anything.”