What do you do when approximately 10% of your town of 600 attends your church, when you just got indoor plumbing in your building three years ago and you only have four parking spaces?
The above paragraph describes our Brandon Center church. Located in the North Country, this church has become a testimony of the perseverance of the pastor and people and the favor of God.
Pastor Juanita Brooks and her husband, Kent, have seen this congregation grow from a handful of worshipers to over 50 regular attenders. New foyer, new bathroom, new paint and new converts have been a part of their story over the past few years. The latest chapter involves a new parking lot. Last month, 25 parking spaces were carved from the one-third acre that surround this small white building.
Here is an excerpt from a letter I received from Patrick Earle of Earle Enterprises, contractor for the work. I think you will enjoy it!
The church saved a tremendous amount of money in gravel. There were 17 loads of - 6 stone that was donated by the Town of Bangor that was brought on site. If you were to buy that outright, it would cost approximately $5,100.00. The trucks consumed 80 gallons of gasoline delivering the gravel at a cost of $320.00. This was also donated. Mr. Marshall (town supervisor) also had two Bangor trucks to help. These figures do not even include the cost of labor for the town workers. A payloader was also donated, which Mr. Marshall drove himself. If one had to be rented it would be a the cost of $145 per hour. An average estimate for a lot that size would be upwards of $12,500.
An overview of the work that was done included removal of all the trees and stumps, 23 truck loads of roots and rocks all taken off the land. This was necessary because if you cover them up they will eventually dry rot and leave sink holes. You also need to remove the topsoil because if you put gravel on top of the topsoil, the gravel will sink and there will be nothing but mud on top when it rains. We also rolled everything with a vibrating roller. Needless to say, after 4 days, 10-hour days each, it was completed.
I thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you and work with some top-notch people. One last thing I would like to say is that Pastors Juanita and Kent Brooks are two very supportive, dedicated and loving people that work so hard for this community... They are truly two people that are led by God.
As I read this letter, I was righteously proud of our leaders and folk at Brandon Center. They are making a difference in the community where God has planted them. Outwardly-focused, soul-conscious--what more could a district leader ask for? Move over Bill Hybels and Willow Creek. Percentage-wise, Brandon Center ranks right there with you in reaching their community for Christ!!!