Virginia non-profit helps rebuild Gatlinburg home

Aerial photo of Gatlinburg

GATLINBURG (WATE) – A Virginia-based non-profit crisis response team is helping a Gatlinburg couple rebuild their home.

Sarah and Terry Benson lost their home during the Sevier County wildfires and had no idea how they would rebuild.

The house was Terry’s childhood home which the couple had recently inherited.

“When we found it the next day, we were heartbroken,” said Sarah. “We had just inherited this house. His mom passed away November third and on November 28th the house burned down.”

Randy Johnson is the founder of God’s Pit Crew. He says the couple’s story is what made the selection easy.

“Just a sweet and humble couple,” said Johnson. “Just folks who are working hard and of course the fact that Terry lost his mom just twenty-something days before the fires.”

A team of 50 to 60 volunteers is rebuilding the couple’s three-bedroom home. The build will take about 20 days to complete.

“It will be completely finished and furnished,” said Johnson. “Down to the silverware and the drawers and the bed linens and pictures on the walls and they can carry their clothes in on the 17th and be at home.”

The rebuild is not the first time God’s Pit Crew has helped the Benson family.

“I told my brother that we had been chosen by God’s Pit Crew and he said ‘do you realize that’s how I got saved?’” said Sarah. “My brother went down there to New Orleans and helped rebuild a few things with them and that’s how he ended up being saved.”

God’s Pit Crew is planning to give the Benson’s the keys to their new home on June 17.

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