Community helps family construct home in wake of tragedy
Robin Alderman stood on the concrete foundation of what will eventually become her home Monday evening, envisioning details that she has only seen on paper.
It’s the home that she and her husband, Glenn, have always wanted – complete with a wrap around porch that will one day include the swing Glenn built just for her.
“We were told that it could be anything we wanted so we planned it together,” Robin said.
The two acres of land were cleared earlier this summer and the project was underway, but that’s as far as Glenn saw of their dream home. After a year and a half battle with cancer, Glenn went to be with his Lord and Savior on July 12, 2013.
The community and his family have made it a mission to still give Robin and her children the home of their dreams, one that will also carry on the memory of the man who never hesitated to lend a helping hand.
Bro. Glenn Alderman served as pastor of Belle Park Baptist Church in Haughton for more than 20 years. Born in 1962, Glenn and his family moved to Princeton in 1968 where he made quite a name for himself in the small community.
Glenn’s family says he held the high jump record at Princeton Jr. High for years and was the starting offensive tackle when Haughton High won the Louisiana State 3A Football Championship in 1977. He was also the valedictorian of his graduating class in 1980.
After moving away to attend college, Glenn made his way back to Haughton with Robin and their children in the summer of 1989 and eventually became pastor of Belle Park Baptist Church in December 1989.
Keith Alderman, Glenn’s brother, said he was charismatic, loved to laugh and was very outgoing. Glenn never met a stranger nor did he pass up an opportunity to help someone in need. Some of the fondest memories he has, Keith said, are of his brother helping the community in any way he could.
“He would tutor kids in math and English and help them with reading,” he said. “[Glenn] even taught a child how to ride a bicycle.”
It was during a mission trip to Joplin, Missouri in September 2011 that they noticed something was wrong with Glenn. Little did they know how soon their lives would change – Glenn was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer that December.
“We looked at it as just another obstacle,” Robin said. “He didn’t lie down and hide from it. He kept on ministering.”
Glenn’s outlook on cancer was somewhat optimistic. In fact, he never doubted that the Lord would heal him. By May of 2013, however, there were no more options available to him medically.
Glenn decided to stop the chemo treatments and live the rest of his life with his family and church family in Haughton.
Robin said they had always planned to build their own home, but thought it would be later in life. The Alderman House Project was started with urgency after Glenn’s diagnosis to give his family the home they could call their own.
The original plan was to have the house complete before he passed away, but God had a different plan.
“God healed him. Just not in the way we wanted,” Robin said.
Glenn died peacefully at home, surrounded by his wife, children, and family. Virginia Disotell, a member of Belle Park Baptist Church, said Glenn never waivered in his faith, a trait that was truly admirable.
“He was a doer of the word,” she said. “He was an example of someone living the gospel.”
In his very last sermon, Glenn summarized his entire ministry in six words – ‘Love God and love each other.’
“He preached until the very end,” Keith said.
Glenn never owned a house in his lifetime. Instead, he lived in a rent house for a year and then two parsonages during his 33 years in the ministry.
Since the Alderman House Project began, Keith said the community has really shown their support through donations of time, services and money. However, there are still items needed to finish the house.
Robin said she is excited to see the project coming together and is looking forward to the day she can finally sit on the porch swing of her dream home.
“It will always be our home,” Robin said. “This was his dream and it’s now our reality. The outpour of love and support from this community has made it even better.”
The project is currently at a standstill until money is raised to purchase lumber for the frame. There are several fundraising opportunities coming up to get the project going again, including gumbo plates for sale on Aug. 24 at Fred’s in Haughton (on Hwy. 80) and a fish fry fundraiser on Sept. 7 (at two locations – Wal-Mart on Airline and Eastwood Baptist Church on Hwy 80) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Project updates and information on upcoming fundraisers can be found on their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/BuildTheAldermansAHouse) and on the project website (www.aldermanhouse.com.
Donations can be sent to Belle Park Baptist Church (Attn: Alderman House Fund), 13061 Hwy 157, Haughton, LA 71037. For more information on how to help, call (318) 455-0174 or e-mail HelpBuild@AldermanHouse.com