God’s Faithfulness through the years
By: Ricky Coggins
There are so many ways God has blessed me and my family through the years but I want to talk about one that I think set the course for Crane Eater and we are still seeing blessings today, because of the blessing of the Fellowship Hall.
I started attending crane Eater around 1974.
I began attending at the invitation of a pretty girl, Kathy Logan.
She and I dated and attended church together and she and I were married at Crane Eater in 1976.
Back then we only had the old rock Church and some Sunday School rooms that were in a block structure located in the same location that our Sunday School rooms are at now.
I can remember attending Home Coming services back then, in the Rock Church and we would have dinner outside under the trees on a tall table that was made out of concrete. Those were wonderful times.
I can remember listening to members sharing their visions and prayers for God to supply an airconditioned building that we could gather and fellowship in.
God Blessed and supplied the building that the congregation prayed for.
I am going to talk about some of the challenges and blessings that we received during the construction of the building and the biggest blessing that came at the end of the construction with a sincere prayer from a wonderful man that I will never forget.
When the congregation voted to build the Fellowship Hall, we were short on some essential things, like money and the land to put the building on. We got to work on the design of the building and started to work on funding for the project. After much deliberation we settled on the design and received funding from the bank for the project. I don’t remember the exact amount of money we borrowed but it was around $50,000.00 dollars. Not a lot of money now days but at the time it was a huge commitment.
When the building was almost complete one of the last things we had to do was the final inspection from our county inspector, until the county inspector approved the structure we could not have permanent power hooked up to the building.
The day came for the final inspection, everyone knew about the inspection and were praying for final approval so we could get power and complete the building. I met Robert Hudgens the county inspector and he started his inspection. Everything met his approval until the end. According to Robert, the location where the power was to be hooked up did not meet county code. I explained to the inspector what we intended to do an it would be changed in the next phase of construction but he did not agree with me and turned down our building.
During this time Brother Gordon Mize was praying and watching the inspector and I from across the road at his house. Brother Mize realized there was a problem and got in his car and came over and asked me if there was a problem. I explained to him what the problem was and told him that the Inspector could not understand what we wanted to do. Bro. Mize immediately put his hands on the inspector's shoulders and started to pray in a loud booming voice…
Dear Lord Please let this poor blind man see what we are doing and it will be alright!!
Bro. Mize slapped the inspector on the shoulder and said that’s all I can do, turned and got in his car and went home.
The inspector turned and look at me with tears in his eyes and said, "Go ahead with your plan I will approve your building." Then, he said, "In all my years inspecting, I have never had anyone pray for me about a problem."
God answered Prayer!
Then on our first home coming in the new building, we were all proud of our new building and everyone was gathered in the building lining up for the wonderful meal that we were about to receive when Our Pastor and his wife, Bro. and Sister Brummett introduced me to sister Maude Ragsdale and told me that she wants to talk to someone about the building. They told her that I had overseen the project and could answer her questions. Sister Ragsdale was a charter member of the Church.
She and I started talking and we walked through the building, she asked all kinds of questions, she was very impressed with what she saw. I couldn’t believe this lady wanted to know so much about the structure. We walked and talked for quite a while, long enough that I was thinking to myself that Sister Ragsdale is going to cause me to miss this wonderful meal. At the end of our tour she wanted to talk about the loan we had received from the bank. I explained to her that we had borrowed approximately $50,000.00 dollars for the construction.
She told me that she felt that God wanted her to pay the loan off for us!
God answered Prayer!
This building project started a fire in the church that still burns today.
If we keep our eyes on the Lord and not ourselves who knows what can be accomplished.
I am proud of the selfless members that we have in the church and that they are willing to do their part without expecting any praise.
All Glory be to God!