Sunday will mark a milestone in the life of New Vision Christian Church. For nearly seven and half months the congregation has had to meet away from home following devastating blows from the tornadoes in April and Hurricane Irene in August. The storms left the church’s roof damaged and flooded sanctuary and other areas of the building unusable.But that all ends Sunday at 4 p.m. when the church will be celebrating its dedication and reopening after the long struggle.
Apostle Perry Ashford, pastor of New Vision expressed that it had been a growing experience for the church and he thanked God for bringing them through the storm and returning the home.
“We are so blessed and I am so thankful to God for giving us the strength, determination and faith to unite under such terrible circumstances and to be able to return home this coming Sunday,” asserted Ashford.
The pastor expressed his sincere gratitude to Paul Hawkins and his staff at Hope Valley Funeral Service for allowing the church to hold services in his facility until theirs could be repaired.
Repairs and renovations that have been required have cost more than $200,000.
The final touches and clean up will not be complete until Saturday, just in time for the celebration. The re-opening and dedication of their sanctuary will feature apostle Zebedee Sheppard, along with his church family, Victory and Dominion World Outreach Center of Snow Hill. The celebration will continue on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. with pastor Chris Brown and Holy Tabernacle Church family of Roseboro, on Friday, Dec. 9 pastor Onyx Martin with the St. Paul Church of Christ, Clinton and Higher Level Ministries of Kenansville will be in charge of the service at 7:30 p.m.
“It has been possible for us to go through this as a church because of much prayer,” cited Ashford. “Through all the heartache at seeing the damaged caused by the storms and having to relocate for a time has actually drawn us closer together as a congregation and we are more united and ready to serve our God more than ever. We are ready and excited to return home and worship in our church again,” expressed the pastor.
Service will begin on Sunday at 10 a.m. with a worship service and at noon a flag dedication service will be held for the new flag pole.
From the very beginning, it was the desire of Ashford and the church to stay together and continue to grow and work diligently for God’s good in everything they did. “We wanted to make this work and with God’s help and strength we have come through the storm a stronger people,” said the pastor. “Despite all the devil’s attempts at bringing us down, our Lord has defeated him in every way to make this day possible and to bring us back home,” added Ashford.
Ashford expressed that even though not being able to be in their home, they did not sit idle waiting on the time when they would return. “It is amazing to see how wonderfully and mysteriously God had used this time for us as a church. I have seen amazing things happen as members have reached out to others even the repairmen and volunteers that have helped put the building back in order. It has been a wonderful witnessing opportunity in which the congregation has reached out to others,” asserted Ashford.
“While the building is going through changes, I have changes in all of us as we have attempted to do God’s will in the community and within ourselves,” shared Ashford.
Although insurance is covering much of the expenses for the repairs, the pastor stated that it did not cover them all. “If anyone would like to contribute to help us pay for the repairs we would welcome the donation,” stated Ashford. The mailing address for the church P.O. Box 198, Clinton, NC 29329. If you should wish to contact the church you may do so by calling 299-5002 or email at email@example.com.
New Vision Christian Church was established in 1998 and was originally located on N.C. Hwy. 403. In 2005 the church moved to its present location at 2102 Hobbton Hwy.
“God is good and we are so appreciative to all He has given to us. Through his grace and love we have been able to weather the storm and return home this Sunday,” concluded Ashford.