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I suggest he visit a few churches and make note of what he likes as far as features and dimensions.
Then get a good book on making cabinets. Adapt the dimensions to the techniques in the book. Then come back here if you have specific questions.
You won't find hardwood plywood at the local big box. Fortunately for me, there's a Paxton's in the area so I have access to many types of hardwood plywood.
You might also try www.woodmagazine.com site. They have a very active woodworking discussion group.