EUTAW, Ala. (BP)–Charlie Bullock is a modern renaissance man. He not only constructs weekly sermons, he also preserves stately antebellum homes and historic churches, in addition to performing living history in clothing from the 1800s.
Bullock’s company, U.S. Commercial Contracting, is a historical restoration company known throughout the United States for its quality work in preserving historic homes, churches and other buildings. Bullock firmly believes his work has a spiritual purpose.
“We need these buildings to remind us to get back to the basics,” said Bullock, of Eutaw, Ala. “There are many of the older churches that are in good shape and could still be used. Community churches are important in rural areas. We came from small congregations and we should remember our spiritual background.”
Robert Gamble, state architectural historian for the Alabama Historical Commission, said Bullock’s contribution has proven him one of the premier restoration contractors in the state.
“I didn’t realize for a long time that Charlie was a minister,” Gamble said of Bullock, pastor of the 145-year-old Clinton Baptist Church in Eutaw.
“That may explain his attitude, for he treats his historic preservation efforts as if they were a true calling,” Gamble said. “I have never heard him preach, but seeing the respect with which Charlie treats his fellow man and the care and concern he brings to his preservation projects is a sermon in itself.”
Bullock and his wife, Jan, even restored their own home, Twin Oaks, an antebellum building with white columns and antique furnishings. The Bullocks are originally from Ohio, but after coming South on business they decided to stay. Captain Nathan Carpenter, once a deacon at Clinton Baptist, built Twin Oaks in 1853, and the Bullocks began its restoration in 1995.
Ed Hooker, president of Alabama Preservation Alliance, said Bullock has been instrumental in restoring several of Alabama’s important historic religious structures, including the Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church in Dallas County.
“Charlie’s involvement with Clinton Baptist Church has not only rescued an important historic building, but has on a higher level renewed a religious presence in the area,” Hooker said.
Not content to rest there, the Bullocks also minister through giving living history presentations to schoolchildren and other groups. And Jan serves as historian for the Greene County Historical Society.
Under Bullock’s ministry the past two years, the once-struggling church has grown from four people to more than 60 in attendance. He believes God spared his life for a chance to serve as Clinton Baptist’s pastor and build a Christian school, now with grades one through six, as a ministry of the church in one of Alabama’s poorest counties.
“I was scheduled to go with my dad on a contracting job, and my pastor reminded me of an important meeting at church,” Bullock said.
“I told Dad I would be there later. His helicopter crashed and Dad was killed instantly. I believe God spared me for his service.”
Linda Holloway is a correspondent for The Alabama Baptist newsjournal. (BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo titles: RENOVATOR & PASTOR and READY FOR THE FUTURE.