Pastor's Blog

When I first came to Mountain View Chapel, the church only owned the classic building and the parking lots directly connected to it. 

The big field on which the new building now sits was a 13-acre flag lot, and the “pole” of the flag was the strip of grass just below the classic building’s parking lot.  When the church started to grow it seemed to me an obvious providence that we would one day purchase that 13-acre field so we could expand.

The ground was owned by a couple that was working through a difficult divorce.  Someone in the church knew the husband and we began working with him to try to obtain the property.  He was willing to sell it to us at a very low price – but the divorce had to be worked out first.

When the divorce was finalized, the man we had built the relationship with and with whom we had been dealing all along didn’t get the property.  His wife did, and she refused to sell the ground to us.

I couldn’t believe it.  The providence was so obvious!  How could God arrange things so neatly and then blow it at the last minute?

The more we tried to persuade the woman to sell us the land, the more adamant she got that she wouldn’t.  The door was closed and locked tightly.  We went property shopping and found a lovely 15-acre lot for sale at the other end of Douglass Drive.  Doors began to open for the purchase of that plot, and although we were not comfortable with it, it seemed there was little choice.  We assumed this was God’s way of directing our steps.

We were well on our way to making the purchase and had worked out most of the deal.  Just before we were ready to close on the property, some of the elders said, “Maybe we should check one more time into the field behind our building.  Maybe things have changed and the woman will sell it to us.”

What harm could there be?  We called the woman and we were all shocked when, without hesitation, she said she was ready to sell!  Her plans for the land didn’t meet township regulations, so she no had no further use for the property. 

We offered her $125,000 cash for the property and she accepted immediately!  And that’s how we obtained the property on which our new building stands.

We FINALLY had land to expand!  I had been leading two services for several years by that time, and I was emotionally wearing out.  With the purchase of the land, I saw a light at the end of the tunnel.  The day we closed on the 13-acre lot, one of our elders said, “By my calculations, if we can save at the same rate that we saved for this property, we’ll have enough for a down payment on a new building in about . . . ten years.”

TEN YEARS???  His comment burst my balloon and my joy evaporated.  Ten more years of two services?  What’s more, both services were filling up and we were talking about the need to launch a third!  Between visiting, counseling, running Bible studies and preaching and doing all of the prep for those things I was working 60-70 hour weeks pretty regularly.  I barely got to see my wife and children.  And I’d have to be doing that (or more) for ten more years??? 

Within ten years my girls would be graduated from high school and I would have missed out on most of their lives.

So I did something that was completely uncharacteristic of me . . .

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