I have often said to my congregation, “Oftentimes we never know what God is doing until He has already done it.”
Several years ago, the Lord lead me, along with some other serious believers, to start a church called, Believers Kingdom of God Ministries. We started with no place to have services except from my home in Mount Olive. Over the years we have had Worship Services and Bible Study at many different locations. For the last nine years, we have been using the Clinton Comfort Inn as our place of worship.
The Clinton Comfort Inn was very supportive of our church and ministries. In fact, over the years, there were times when we did not have the funds to pay for their facilities upon arriving. And every single time, and I mean every single time, as we began to set up for worship or Bible study, management would tell us there would be no charge for that particular day or night. I must admit, it was also during those times when I felt like giving up, but God would let me know through the generosity of the Comfort Inn that He was still with us.
While pastoring the Church, I was blessed with receiving a part-time job from the Sampson County Dept. of Aging as Site Manager for the Roseboro Senior Citizens Nutrition Site. During that time, I was having a very difficult time finding work due to my past indiscretions that led to me having a criminal record. On the day of the interview with Linda Armwood and Angela Faircloth, God made his presence known to all three of us. What was supposed to be an interview, turned into a Worship Service for the three of us. My first day of work was March 11, 2011. The site was located at the Roseboro Community Building which was owned and under the control of the Town of Roseboro.
In February, 2016, the Town of Roseboro removed us from the building because, in their estimation, the building was in need of dire repairs. Subsequently I had to scramble to find an alternative location. We were able to continue the Senior Site as we went from Roseboro United Methodist Church, to the Roseboro Fire Department, to Charles E. Perry Alternative School, to St. Thomas AME Zion Church and back to Roseboro United Methodist Church where we are currently located.
In May of this year, the Town of Roseboro decided to sell the Community Building by requesting bids of not less than $28,000 for the building. The bidding process was from May 1, thru May 31. No one made a bid for the building. As a result, the Town Board voted to accept upset bids with no designated bid requirements.
Three individuals made bids on the building. The winning bid was made by my uncle, Percy Owens. He wanted to purchase the building for our church and for the church to have the Senior Citizens Nutrition Site as one of its ministries.
We will be having our inaugural Worship Service this Sunday, Aug. 6 at 3 p.m. and the Senior Citizens Program will officially be back at the place where they have been for the last 42 years on Tuesday, Aug. 8. There will be an earth shaking experience at the place formerly called the Roseboro Community Building on Sunday at 3 p.m. I hope you will be able to attend and stay for the fellowship meal.
Upon receiving the building, our church knew we had to make much repairs based upon the Town of Roseboro repairs assessment. In fact, one town councilman said it would cost the town $40,000 to make the needed repairs. However, the repairs needed was only a small fraction of their estimates. I truly believe God did some repairs so we would not have to bear the expense of doing so ourselves! After the repairs, we passed all the necessary inspections and are now ready to do the Lord’s business.
Since that time, I have been focused on teaching the congregation that God is true to His word that says, “If you are faithful over a few things, I’ll make you rulers over much.” We have been faithful over the years, especially when things got tough. Our faithfulness enabled God to give us this property. We have also received from Him, new ministries that He wants done in this community, along with the necessary funds to do them. This goes in line with what I have been teaching for years at our church. If God wants you to do something: He will provide. That is why we have never had any type of fundraiser at our church and we never will. That is why we have never had and never will require our members to pay certain amounts for certain events. That is why I have never allowed my congregation to give me an Appreciation Service because I fully appreciate the opportunity to serve God and to serve His people.
With God’s blessings, He has also warned us that, “To whom much is given much is required.” There is now much required of us as a church and we wholly intend to meet those requirements.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think we would be in the awesome position we are in now. I have come to realize that all that has happened and all that will happen has been part of God’s plans all along. It is so good to sit back and realize what God has done. After all, as I have said many times, “You never know what God is doing, until after He has already done it.” I now, even more strongly, repeat what my good friend, Rev. John Mark Melvin likes to use…..Look at God! Look at God!
Gilbert Owens is a native of Roseboro and a columnist for The Sampson Independent.