By Charles Allard
No one was thinking the impossible when the Crabtree Valley Baptist Church met for its monthly business meeting February 26, 2017. We were discussing whether or not to rent or sell our vacated Youth House, which was deteriorating day by day.
Someone asked, “Would we consider turning the Youth House into a Refugee Ministry?”
No one had given it a thought. The idea sparked a six-month investigation into the possibility of such an endeavor, realizing full well that Crabtree Valley Baptist Church neither had the financial resources nor the manpower to undertake such a mission.
The study process involved a visit to Hope Valley Baptist Church in Durham, a conference with Pastor Bill Bigger and a visit to their refugee ministry house. Conferences with CBF field personnel Marc and Kim Wyatt, Bill Baxley of Greystone Baptist Church in Raleigh, Roger Nix, Director of Missions for the Raleigh Baptist Association and others, changed doubt and skepticism into confidence and faith that with God nothing is impossible.
Our doubts were based on the fact that CVBC is a small congregation, having spiraled down over several years from nearly 300 members to a present active congregation of less than 50. We are basically a senior congregation facing a challenging budget and taxed just to pay our bills. We knew that we could not do this ministry alone.
In the process, we were praying for God to revive our church and give us a mission challenge.
We soon learned that God was already at work and way out in front of all our thinking. All that was needed was our willingness to join God. While we did not have financial means or manpower for a project of this magnitude, we did have the one essential thing for a Refugee Ministry — a house.
With the guidance of Marc and Kim Wyatt and Roger Nix we were convinced that this ministry could be accomplished through partnerships with interested churches, Baptist Men, volunteers, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and the Raleigh Baptist Association.
With facts in hand, we held a “Church Town Hall” meeting on Wednesday evening July 12, with over 30 members present and Roger Nix on hand as consultant.
Marvelous things started happening. Bill Baxley volunteered to serve as Project Manager. Marc Wyatt said a $2,000 grant from CBFNC was being considered. Roger Nix told us that the Resource Committee of the Association had committed $2,500 to the project. Baptist men said that if we voted “yes,” they would paint the inside of the house. A contractor reduced his previous estimate to power wash the house, repair the damaged ceilings in the bathrooms and paint the outside of the house from $10,000 to $3,950.
The congregation voted unanimously at the quarterly business meeting on July 23 to offer our Youth House for a Refugee Ministry. Joy filled the room and people were saying, “To God be the Glory.”
After the vote, an avalanche of workers descended upon the property. Mosaic Church in Clayton, N.C., led by Pastor Andy Hale was first to arrive with enthusiastic adults, youth and children to clear the jungle that had grown up in the back yard. Six excited churches joined together to clean out all the accumulated furniture, props from plays, room dividers in the house and basement.
Greystone Baptist Church Generations Class, along with Joann Thompson’s mission team helped with costs, demolition and renovation. A Baptist Men’s team from Trinity Baptist Church came to paint the inside of the house and furnish the paint. Members of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants cleaned the floors and treated the property with pest control. Brinley Grading volunteered to grade the property and apply topsoil. Christian Davis of Trinity Baptist church brought a youth group to spruce up the playground. Bill Baxley masterfully supervised the entire renovation assisted by Johnny Glover of Greystone Baptist. A yard sale expected to net around $400 pulled in over $1,800. Trinity Baptist Church members Donald and Anita Price donated a bedroom suit, patio furniture and tables as a first contribution to furnish the house.
CVBC and all who have participated in the project have experienced God time and time again. Call it amazing, wonderful, marvelous, exciting, a miracle or whatever you like, it is God at work. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
A dedication of Welcome House Raleigh is set for October 8, 2017 at 2p.m. at Crabtree Valley Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C. Come celebrate with us how the impossible became possible! To God be the Glory, Great things He has done.
To support the work of CBF field personnel Marc and Kim Wyatt as they minister to refugee families in the Research Triangle of North Carolina, visit www.cbf.net/wyatt.