About SWAT

How Did the SWAT Team Get Started?
In 2000, a ministry targeting small churches, Christian camps and other Christ-centered ministries was started by Jim Stewart and Lynn and Steve Blakeman. The ministry was based on the idea that there are many churches, Christian camps and para-Church ministries with facilities and grounds in need of repair, remodeling and upgrading, and that there are people who have a desire to give of their time, talents and tools in service to such ministries. Subsequently, the name of “Servants With A Tool” was chosen and the nickname of the “SWAT Team” was adopted.
How is SWAT Funded?
Servants With A Tool, Inc. is a tax exempt, 501(c)(3) charitable corporation. We are totally dependent upon donations to meet our expenses. Since the SWAT Team is currently an all-volunteer ministry, expenses are kept to a minimum.
Who leads the SWAT Team?
We have a Board of Directors

  • Steve Blakeman, President
  • Jim Stewart, Vice President
  • Lynn Blakeman, Secretary/Treasurer
  • Nate Wanner, Dave Robinson, Mike Stroup, Bill Tafel, Hank Lovell
What is the Purpose of the SWAT Team?
The SWAT Team exists to help Christ-centered ministries fulfill their mission of evangelizing the lost. This is done by coordinating weekend work events where volunteers (families and individuals) come together at a host site for the purpose of providing free labor to build, repair, improve and beautify the facilities and grounds of the host site.

Who Volunteers for SWAT?
The SWAT Team is an all-volunteer ministry. To date several hundred people have attended the more than 100 events that have been held since 2001.Persons of all ages and skill levels are welcome to participate. Some members are highly skilled in specific trades and professions with many years of experience, while others are inexperienced in the construction field but willing to learn. The majority of volunteers live in North Carolina. However, some volunteers travel from other states to participate. While there is no official “membership” required, we refer to those who have participated as “members.”

Who Does SWAT Serve?
The SWAT Team has decided to primarily support Christian Camps. These sites have lodging and dining facilities readily available for the members who attend the events. Since 2001 we have developed close relationships with several such camps. We try to coordinate events at these locations each year.

Where Does SWAT Serve?
Most SWAT events are “local”, meaning they are weekend events within 2-3 hours of most attending members. Occasionally we coordinate “national” events that involve more extensive travel to distant locations.
Since the beginning of the SWAT Team events have been held in the Carolinas,Virginia, New York City, New Jersey, Texas, Ohio, Mississippi, and on the Indian Reservations in Arizona and Wyoming.

How Often Does SWAT Serve?
Approximately seven events are held between February and November of each year. We typically work on Friday and Saturday and return home on Sunday afternoon. The yearly schedule is established each January and distributed to all members and interested persons so they can determine the events that fit their schedules well in advance.

How Can You Serve?
The SWAT Team offers a variety of “serving opportunities.” Each event has its own unique set of opportunities which may include building construction, remodeling, demolition, painting, electrical, plumbing, roofing, landscaping, cooking, nursing, and encouraging.

Are Tools and Construction Experience Required?
No, all you need is a servant’s heart. Members typically bring tools they have that relate to scheduled work projects. When we head out from the breakfast table to get started for the day, the diversity of members becomes evident. Some grab multiple toolboxes from their pickup trucks, but others simply grab a couple tools from the front pocket of their suitcase and a paint-covered T-shirt.Skill level in the building trades is not a prerequisite for becoming a part of the SWAT Team. We recognize that God has uniquely gifted each person and we find a place of service for everyone.

Can the Entire Family Participate?
Absolutely! From the very beginning, the SWAT Team has been “family oriented”. This is a characteristic that makes us unique. Parents are encouraged to bring the entire family and allow their children to be involved in the work projects on site. We have members in diapers, members in their 70’s, and members everywhere in between.
Events typically include such a wide variety of projects that participants of all ages and skill levels are able to get involved and contribute to the goals of the event. There are usually service activities for everyone, regardless of age or ability level.

Does a SWAT Event Cost Anything?
Typically, the only expense for attendees is the cost of travel to and from the site. Host sites typically provide meals for the Team. Since most events are held at Christian Campgrounds, lodging is also free (dorms and cabins.) Members who own an RV or camper are welcome to bring them. Attendees may choose to stay in a nearby motel at their own expense.For national events, Team members usually pay for food. Members are also asked to make a donation towards the building materials for these events because the hosts of these events often do not have the resources available to purchase needed materials.

Want to Join?
If you are interested in serving with us, simply contact us with your E-mail address and contact information. We will add you to our E-mail list. This will allow you to be informed of upcoming events and receive our Newsletters.