Elder Olen Weatheread tells this story the best. It always starts out….
Bro. Blassingame paid the lease on it and we began to work. We met there on Sat. Aug. 17th and worked all day. On Sun. morning, Aug. 18th we had our first service with 31 in attendance. During the evening service, we had tongues and interpretation. The Lord said, “I have given you this hill.”
The property consisted of the building and 5 lots, all Main Street frontage and had been appraised at $135,00 with a $95,000 note against it. Not long after we started I was sitting in the office studying for Sun. and a realtor brought a couple in to see the property. I said, “Go right ahead.” After they went through the building and were leaving the realtor turned to me and said, “You folks better be looking for another place. We are going to sell this place”. I said, “Do whatever you have to”. But as he was leaving I had to laugh a little because I knew something he didn’t know. Everything was going great, but the realtors were working really hard so some of our people got shook up and wanted to look for another place. We looked at 2 buildings but found that neither had enough parking. I said, “Why are we getting upset? The Lord gave us this hill.” So we just put it aside and went on having church and never got behind on our lease payments or utilities.
I was doing the preaching and am 100 percent for UPC, but I am not licensed so in November, we voted my son, Tim Weatheread in as pastor.
My wife was our church secretary and she went into the bank every Monday morning to make a deposit. One morning the bank president called her into his office and asked her to tell that pastor to come talk to him about buying that property. Pastor went to see him and the banker asked what he would give. His response was, “$75,000 and you carry the note.” He chose to offer that amount because he felt that was an amount that pleased the Lord. However, the banker just laughed and assured him that he would never get it for that. So Pastor left and went on having church.
Sometime later the banker told my wife once again to have the pastor come and see him. Pastor went and was asked to make another offer. He replied “$75,000 and you carry the note.” Once again the banker responded with laughter and told him that he would never get it for that, but requested that he put it in writing so that it could be presented to the board. Guess what . . . The board approved a 15 year note and we paid it off in 7.5 years.
In 2001 construction began on our new sanctuary and every bank around here wanted to finance it. Then 3 lots behind us became available for $15,000. With the Lord’s help we were able to purchase it and paid it off in 3 months.
I don’t want to sound like I was a great home missions builder. We had good people and you won’t find a better man than Bro. Blassingame. Sadly, most of our founding members have gone on to their reward, and of course the loss of my precious wife on March 1, 2008 was such a loss for me. The testimony of our church reveals God’s faithfulness invariably. This ‘hill’ that was promised by God has witnessed miracles, healings, lives changed, homes restored . . . The best is yet to come.