A TIME FOR THANKS
Terry R. Baughman
“The Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong, and do it” (1 Chronicles 28:10).
This year began with a vision to “Arise and Build” a new worship center for our congregation. Many steps have been taken to bring us to this day. We have interviewed construction companies, civil engineers, and architects; and researched different ways to finance this project. We have sketched ideas for the site plan, inquired for details in codes and zoning, and looked at various other church blueprints and buildings. Each step of the way we have prayed for direction, sought advice from those who have specialized experience, and dreamed of the ultimate outcome and finished product.
Today marks a milestone. This is a major event in our progress. Today we place a symbolic shovel in the soil of this property where we will construct a place of worship. We will dedicate this site for the glory of God, that we may establish a landmark for a spiritual lighthouse, and build a gathering place for all those who desire a relationship with the living God. In our cities there are many houses of worship, places for community gatherings, and assembly halls for celebrations and social events, but this will be a place where lives can be transformed, where we will witness miracles of healing and see the powerful truth of the New Birth experienced.
We are more than a church. This is a mission and a movement. We build with an eternal purpose to propel our passion, and we construct with the conviction that God has commissioned us to share the good news with our generation. We believe that it is our responsibility to proclaim to the world the truth of one eternal God, revealed in the flesh of Jesus Christ; that His name is the only door of salvation; and that His Spirit provides access into a whole new world of liberty, of identity, and deliverance.
Jesus is “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). His Name is “above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow” (Philippians 9:9–10), and there is no hope of “salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). The Gospel of Jesus Christ is embodied in this passage of Peter’s Pentecostal sermon, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
On this site, in this place, there will always be a witness of truth and the everlasting Gospel shall be proclaimed. In the early 1950s, my grandfather moved onto a dairy farm not far from here in Higley. An itinerate preacher, he and his wife and their two younger children transitioned here from Arkansas and they based here while preaching around the state. Years later, in Wichita, Kansas, Mark Baughman baptized a young man, Leroy Hampton, who eventually became a preacher and felt the call of God to start a church in this metro area. The Hamptons friendship with the Robert & Elaine Bibb led them to launch the beginning of this congregation in the East Valley. After his untimely death Bibbs became the pastor of Abundant Life Church in Gilbert and relocated the church to what was then a rural area along Greenfield Rd, halfway to Queen Creek. After eight years we assumed this pastorate and have been blessed with growth, a vision to expand, and opportunities to acquire the needed property.
Today we stand on 2 1/4 acres of property in the crossroads of the Southeast valley and are launching a project that will be more than a structure … it will be a launchpad for ministry throughout the region. The effects of this construction will be felt around the world as we continue to fulfill the mission God has placed in our soul. God has prepared the soil and its growth will result in a spiritual harvest.
Today is also a day of Thanksgiving. Thanks to all who have gone before, sacrificed, prayed, and paid for every step of faith. Today, we are debt free, except for the eternal debt of gratitude to a host of believers, to preachers and teachers, and most of all to our Lord Jesus Christ who has made this possible. Today marks … a new beginning, for LifeChurch International and for every individual who will find him in this place!
“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).