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April 18 , 2010

The Church God Built


A poor, elderly black congregation’s 100-year old church collapsed in Westminster, Maryland. The collapsed building was resting on a neighbor widow’s house pressing up floors. Sixty miles an hour winds were predicted that evening.

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The ancient church had occupied a lot only 50 feet wide making any attempt to rebuild impractical. Considering lack of funds and local building restrictions, our story should have ended at that point—but it was only the beginning.

Four black strangers asked me, a white bank officer, to lead the building of a new church. When a committee was formed not one of the six volunteers had ever built a church. Nobody was qualified to do the many things required to supervise building a new church. Surprisingly, none of the volunteer group was a member of the church.

Funds had to be generated and a new building lot had to be found to satisfy local building codes. Rebuilding the church proved to be an extra major challenge in a conservative and segregated town.

Six volunteers armed with nothing more than neighborly love set about to do what experienced builders might say was impossible. The small group not only surprised any doubters, they witnessed true miracles of The Supreme Architect’s power up close.

Frustration, doubt, and fear of failure among our group were swept away with renewed strength of faith. Each person learned all things are possible with God’s help—which we certainly witnessed first hand.

The church stands today (see cover photo) serving God’s people, still no one person can claim credit for the work. God built His church using inexperienced, but willing workers. This writer was one of a small group of dedicated hands that both witnessed and participated in the miracle. This is the telling of that strange, yet incredible story, of how six strangers worked together to defy enormous odds and obey God’s will.

It is hoped you the reader, might find renewed faith after reading this story of commitment. The Church God Built is an example for all to know the awesome power of our Creator and proof God is very much among us. His power of love is invisible, but God’s electrifying influence is seen in daily lives and accomplishments. It is an example of how God gives individuals talent to be used for His purpose. May you find faith and love in this story and be willing to serve our Lord should you also be called.

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