“Let’s Get Busy” – Stories From The Patch (Pt 11):
We had been promised (not 100% approved yet, but the promise was good enough for me) a loan to purchase the Dallas Highway property. The total cost was $1,150,000. Because we had planned to eventually build on Barrett Parkway we had over $400,000 in the bank designated for that project. On this new agreement we gave $350,000 as a down payment so the loan was actually $800,000. On that amount we paid interest only for the first year. While the loan contract was being drawn up neither our people nor I wanted to sit and wait. On my very first visit to this property months before, I was given a key to the building. Little did I know then how valuable hanging onto it would be. We didn’t expect the loan papers to take long in preparation and the Credit Union was anxious to get rid of the building, so we anticipated a closing in the near future. It was time to get busy.
Every day seemed to be a work day at the church. If you had an hour to spare we took it. Lots and lots of people got involved. If you saw the building then, you wouldn’t believe it is the same one today. The tile in the foyer needed scrubbing. Some places required a hammer and chisel to get the crud out of the grout. Windows needed washing, walls wiped down, glass in the doors was replaced so you could actually see outside. The broken window was replaced, a few hanging doors put back on their hinges, the furnaces and A/C’s needed service and gum removed from the Worship area carpet. The bathrooms were cleaned and sterilized inside and out. Those are only some of the things I remember needing done. The sound equipment eventually was hauled in and placed on two folding tables in back of the room because there was no other place for it. Tables and chairs were hauled in for Sunday School classes, but there were no nice seats for the Worship area. A couple in the Church stepped up asking, “How many chairs do you need?” My answer was, “Let’s start with 250.” Their reply was, “Find what you want, order them and we’ll pay for them.” DONE – thank you so very much. Another family acquainted with our church, but had not yet committed to attending on a regular basis came and helped clean. I was asked, “How would you like a nice Grand Piano for the platform?” I must have looked like a deer in headlights, but asked, “Where are you going with this?” He said, “My wife and I have found a very nice piano that we’d like to buy and donate to the church – would that be okay?” DONE – thank you very much. Another couple said, “Pick out a podium and we’ll pay for it!” DONE – thank you very much. Things like this were happening over and over. Mary Jasper and her Mom shopped and bought things that really made a difference throughout the building. My wife and Shirl Farnsworth found furniture for the lobby as well as tables and chairs for the Café area. The wonderful folks of Marietta First really stepped up. They not only cleaned the inside, but mowed the lawn, trimmed trees and shrubs making a huge difference on the outside. Oh, we also bought a church sign and put down by the road.
I hope you get the idea of the things that were going on. This was a busy but exciting time for our church. Too many volunteers to list and more donations than I can remember. I’ve been so excited writing this I forgot to tell you that a congregational vote was held approving the purchase of the building. (That was a good thing). I was hoping to get the loan papers signed quickly because we were putting a lot of work into a building that wasn’t technically ours yet. (Can one claim ownership if they have a key?). Of all the improvements going on each day, there were some things that needed a skilled carpenter. Like removing broken baseboards and replacing with new ones. There was however something noticeably missing! There was no altar in the church.
The altar is more than a piece of furniture in the Church of the Nazarene. We believe it is essential. Mary Jasper told me about a friend and employee that was an excellent carpenter. Shawn Ramey was the man for the job. Shawn and his son Shane replaced the baseboards, secured a stairway and built us two of the most beautiful Oak altars you’ve ever seen. When the work was completed I asked for a billing invoice. He said, “That’s our donation to your new Church!” It didn’t matter what I said, Shawn was determined this be his contribution to the Lord and our Church. When one retraces their steps they can often see how God connects the dots. He often takes us down roads we don’t want to travel and while delays are frustrating, His timing is always perfect. I often think of Stephanie Carnes’ comment when informing me about the Pumpkin Patch … “This is something you might want to consider doing!” Wow! Makes me wonder, but if we hadn’t had that first Pumpkin Patch there’s a very good chance we wouldn’t be where we are today. Thanks Stephanie!