The Saga of the Building that Fell from Heaven
God certainly has plans for us...
Early in the summer of 2005, when we had all decided that purchasing property was beyond our reach for at least five years, we were simply keeping our eyes open for a place to rent that would allow more growth for our congregation. Then, one Monday afternoon in early July, the Holy Spirit moved and church dropped from the sky, nearly crushing Reba Carter and Rev. Katherine Hunt. They were in a larger retail space, gathering information from the realtor, when he said, "You know, I have a church for sale."
By Tuesday, the vestry had seen it and had decided to make an offer. We began to pray and a week later we met with our realtor, drew up an offer and began to ask for contributions and loans from parishioner. Then, we prayed and waited.
The contributions and loans came pouring in.
We continued to wait and pray and eventually found that there was someone else who had placed a much more lucrative offer in front of the sellers. Unbeknownst to our realtor, we began a prayer vigil at 7 a.m. on Thursday morning. (No, we were not praying for the failure of the other church, we were just asking that Christ Church be provided for.) At 10:30 a.m. our realtor called to tell us that the other buyer had backed out. The seller came back to us with a counter offer. Once again, the vestry met, this time, with our realtor and a banker. The interest rate and loan amount was higher than we had expected so our monthly payments looked almost our of reach, but the good news was that the bank was indeed interest in financing our project.
Back to the drawing board
We reflected on the way that God had provided for each step into our current retail space and we decided to be brazen and creative. With the continued leadership and energy of Rev. Katherine Hunt, we asked for support from others outside the Christ Church community and found that their excitement was as strong as ours. They also wanted to see "a real building for a real church" in South Anchorage. Within 2 days, 7 different people had agreed to short term pledges that would bridge the gap between our current monthly payments and what the new loan payments would be, thus allowing us time to "grow into" the new payments. With grateful hearts, we placed a new offer before the seller and on Friday, August 19th, it was accepted by the seller. "Thanks Be to God, Alleluia, Alleluia, Yee Haw! and let us continue to pray."
Support from all sides
With the offer accepted, we went to work on the financing package. The Diocesan investment committee came back to us and offered a higher loan amount, reducing the amount of high cost bank financing that was needed. The Diocesan standing committee quickly approved the purchase. The Diocesan staff worked tirelessly as they followed through on the necessary documents for the bank. Bishop Mark MacDonald willingly signed every document that passed his way.
We closed on the property at the time of our 25th Anniversary! Yee Haw!