PLAINVIEW – On the TV show SWAT, team members armed themselves with weapons to fight crime and evil on the city streets. On Plainview streets, however, the SWAT Team is armed only with tools of their trade: servanthood.
Composed of students from Wayland Baptist University, the SWAT Team is a service group from the Baptist Student Ministries. Short for “Servants With a Tool,” the team attracts folks who like to use their handyman skills to help the community.
Luke Loetscher, a sophomore from Wyoming, helped form the group, guided by a desire to use his special skills in ministry. A hard worker who enjoys carpentry and more handy tasks, Loetscher has managed to gather a small but dedicated group of students to work alongside him on various projects.
This semester, the group has been working with a Habitat for Humanity home on North Joliet, helping to decorate two rooms after the home was completed. The group has also done odd jobs for other homes.
In the last few weeks, they’ve spent Saturday mornings doing cleanup work along South Joliet street from Fifth Street to Southwest Third along the Plainview Cemetery. With a truck and driver provided by the City of Plainview, SWAT team members raked up tumbleweeds and trash along the road for hauling to the city dump.
On one recent Saturday afternoon, the group took a break to plant a tree, sponsored by the Sophomore Class, at the gravesite of Dr. James H. Wayland, founder of the university, in the Plainview Cemetery. The class hopes the tree will be in full bloom by 2008, the year of the university’s centennial celebration.