The Backstory

“The idea was to highlight the heart of people in need in our community and those who are willing to sacrifice themselves in serving them.”

Mick Richards, Producer/Director

The Backstory

Since 2001, Builders Care has been repairing homes, building wheelchair ramps and constructing facilities for indigent elderly, the disabled and non-profit organizations who cannot afford these services.

“Builders Care was first featured in an Extreme Makeover television show several years prior, and it very effectively spread the word about the Builders Care mission,” said Bill Wilson, executive director of Builders Care. Soon after that show aired, Builders Care was about to begin its 600th home remodeled. Wilson had invited Mick Richards, owner of DeepLight Productions and served on the NEFBA board at the time, to produce and direct a show highlighting the event.

“The idea was not only to help raise awareness of the construction work and trade partners of Builders Care,” Richards explained, “but to also highlight the heart of people in need in our community and those who are willing to sacrifice themselves in serving them. Cola Mae and her story would be the perfect illustration of both.”

The production experiment was intended on being just one half-hour program, but by the time it was set to air, the program has grown to an hour. The “Mother Harris” show was a local hit, and the decision was made to produce one more…then another…until the series of seven stories concluded with the foster care ministry of foster/adoptive mother Melisa Page-Bailie and her nine adopted children.

After the shows had served their purpose, the project was eventually wrapped up. But when the Kenny Goodall and his family were discovered by Don Wilford, Div. President of ICI Homes, the DeepLight production team and Builders Care had decided to get back together for one more TV project. No one had any idea how epic that final story would have become.

After two weeks of building and over a month of filming, Richards had heard that Trinity Broadcasting Network, an international broadcasting company, were holding a contest searching for new programs. Richards, Chris Simons of Builders Care and head volunteer “Uncle Dave”  were invited to meet with Isaac Hernandez, TBN’s Exec. Dir. of Production, in Las Vegas to share what the team had been doing with the local series.

They shared stories of the past shows, as well as the most recent Goodall family story about a severely ill man with ALS, his wife and six children. Isaac and his team were so moved, they presented Richards with an opportunity to take the series to a whole new level for worldwide broadcast on the TBN Networks.

As a result, the vision and concept of Building a Difference was created, and the original series was re-mastered by Richards into 16 half-hour episodes for a worldwide audience of more than 92 million households. “The first and second volumes would present a perfect introduction into the concept of community outreach illustrated but the heart of Builders Care, and Building a Difference could then advance into a deeper study of creative missions movements throughout other cities and overseas,” shared Richards.

Wrapping Up Production!

The Building A Difference crew soon finished shooting the new “show opens” of the first volume of shows at Celebration Church of Jacksonville, FL. Senior Pastor Stovall Weems generously offered his church’s Annex building and crew to help shoot all the opens and closes for our new 16-part series. Friends and family also showed up to help out with whatever was needed. They completed the shooting in four long days, even though they projected only one.

Chris Simons, Builders Care’s local pastor and production manager, was stepping up to be Volume One’s host for the 16 new half hour episodes. He was giving 22 pages of script and given only two days to review them because of time constraints to get the new shows out. “Then we wrote ten more pages on location…and he performed beautifully!” Richards shared. “Everyone would tell him, ‘Pastor, when you speak, your words flow out of you like the beautiful sound of living water soothing the hearts and souls of all those in your presence’. And it was true!”

The Bell Family Premiere

At the end of the re-mastering process, Building a Difference premiered “The Bell Family – Directors Cut” at a finale event in Jacksonville, FL. The newest expanded version promised to be “the most emotional and inspirational story yet.”  “

It tells the story of John and Michelle Bell and their three beautiful daughters.  “With a strong faith and very active in their church, John and Michelle were always looking for more ways to serve,” explained Chris Simons.  “That’s when they decided to join the Christian Motorcyclist Association.  However, after a tragic motorcycle accident, their lives were changed forever.  But what you think would have caused them fall into a pit of despair actually brought them closer together as a family giving them a new purpose in life.”

When Builders Care heard about this family, they knew they needed to do whatever they could to help this family.  “We couldn’t do anything about their new physical conditions, but we could do something about their home,” explained Bill Wilson, Executive Director of Builders Care.  “John and Michelle simply couldn’t function in an incredibly small home that couldn’t accommodate their new needs.”

Builders Care specializes in matching builders with specific needs, and the construction team of Cordele Builders seemed to be a perfect match.  “We’re fellow riders,” said Pat Murphy, Vice President of Cordele Builders. “And the unwritten rule of riders is that you help your own.  We wanted to do whatever we could to help the Bell’s start a new life.”

Builders Care immediately rallied the courageous volunteer efforts of the Builders Association and the Bell family’s community to come together in amazing ways to help this family with their home. “It’s been a great ride with Builders Care in our first year of programming, and our grand finale presentation promises to be the most emotionally compelling stories of hope we’ve told yet,” shared Richards.