With our journey of visiting fifty-two churches over, I can reflect more on the complete experience. Today, I’ll add to my thoughts about Church #32.
Our experience at this church was positive, and I’m excited for their future. However, there is more to it; here’s their backstory.
A couple years ago, this church stretched itself in constructing a grand facility, but then the economy turned bad. They lost their building and many members in the process. (Church #22 bought their foreclosed property.) For a time they met in the Seventh Day Adventist’s church, Church #31. We planned to visit them there, going to the same place twice in one weekend but for different churches.
However, they relocated, the week before we could visit, into a small, older building. They paid cash for the place. It didn’t cost much; either they couldn’t get a loan or didn’t want to.
The Sunday we visit is week number two in their new location. It’s their annual commitment Sunday. After the pitch for funds, members fill out their pledges. The service ends, and we head downstairs for a catered brunch. As we enjoy the food and meet people, they tally the pledges and announce the total. Enough funds are pledged to meet their full budget, which includes paying their beloved leader a full-time salary. They celebrate some more – and we with them.