Yesterday was a very exciting day at Pine Park Baptist Church. After 9 years of planning and praying, and 2 years of construction (and more praying), we finally moved in to our new facility.
We had a wonderful day with a great crowd (for us) in attendance. Many visitors came as we celebrated the miracle of the Resurrection inside our own miracle. In addition, we were able to baptize two who had recently come to faith in Christ. There were several there who had not been in church in a very long time. We had a great chance to share the Gospel with them and are praying that the seeds of God’s Word that were planted will come to fruition in their heart.
I call this building, “The House that Prayer Built”. As I mentioned, the church started planning this building about 11 years ago. Much thought and prayer had gone into the project, but about 21/2 years ago, it had come to a standstill. Money had just about stopped coming in, and there was no clear direction as to how to proceed.
As a church, we felt the need to seek the will of God. For 40 days, we held two prayer meetings a day. We had numerous prayer events and even had a couple of fasts (it does a Baptist good). As we prayed, we asked God for three things: wisdom, faith and unity. I do not tell you these things to bring attention to us, I tell you this so I can show you how God responds to the cries of His people.
We did not plan this at the outset, but by the end of the prayer campaign, our building committee came forward with a recommendation to begin construction. The vote in the church was unanimous, with several who had opposed the new project voting in favor of it. They said later that during the time of prayer, they saw the need for it and were now behind the project. We have not had one dissenting vote on any phase of the project since that day. God has blessed us with incredible unity.
This would require a bit of faith on our part, however. We did not have anywhere close to the amount needed to complete the project. Even the least expensive bids were well out of reach for our congregation. God raised up a man in our congregation who was qualified to oversee the project for us. This alone saved several hundred thousand dollars. We then began to realize that there were several steps we could take that would save money without sacrificing quality. Even after all of this, we still had less than half of the money needed to complete the project.
As a body, we felt strongly that we should build this without going into debt. I am not saying that it is always wrong for churches to finance things, but at this time, we did not believe that God was leading us to go in that direction. This raised the question, “What if we get started and can’t get it finished?” Thankfully, our people stepped forward in faith.
I say this to the everlasting glory of God. We worshipped in a brand new facility yesterday that is absolutely beautiful and DO NOT OWE ONE DIME! God is truly able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think. You have to understand, we don’t have any wealthy people in our congregation, God brought the money in from some unbelievable sources. Our congregation realizes how blessed we are. We can testify that we know that God responds to faith in ways that we cannot imagine.
As you can tell, I am more than a little pumped about this. I want to continue with some more thoughts on forgiveness this week, but I just had to take a “time out” and share this blessing with you. To God be the glory, great things He has done!