The Finance Committee met on October 6, 2020, to formulate the Proposed Budget for 2021. The majority of the Finance Committee members, to include Council Chair, Committee Chairs, and the Pastor were present.
Even though we had experienced the difficulties associated with COVID-19, the finances of the Church had remained strong. The new recommended salaries for the Pastor and staff were presented by SPPRC Chair Kaye Shaw. The Pastor’s salary was increased by more than usual. We knew we would be getting a new Pastor in July due to our present Pastor, Rev. Bruce Sayre’s announced retirement. Our hope was to get a younger Pastor since our Church has such a presence of young adults, youth, and children. These pastors are in high demand. After placing all the numbers in the line items of the proposed budget, it passed unanimously.
Before adjournment, someone threw out the idea of the possibility of looking into a different parsonage for our Church due to several reasons. One by one the members present began making positive comments about reasons for looking into this possibility. Because of all the positive comments to include those made by Rev. Sayre, we decided to meet again on October 20 for more discussion and include the Trustees and SPPRC members.
We also decided to include Andy Bedenbaugh, a church member and local realtor. Andy attended our October 20 meeting and was in total agreement with the rest of us in moving in the direction of purchasing or building. He expressed his thoughts of our present parsonage being functionally obsolete.
The Pastor informed us that we would need the approval of our District Superintendent before we could take action. Rev. Sayre contacted the DS, Dr. Steven Love, and it was decided that we could make a proposal before the District Superintendent at our Charge Conference on November 16. The DS seemed elated to see us being willing to step out in faith to provide better living conditions for our new Pastor. Council adopted this proposal by a unanimous vote of 27-0 for us to move forward. We were united!
The availability of suitable houses in our area was almost non-existent. We took an option on a suitable building lot. We talked to a builder and began setting that ball in motion. Then, unexpectedly, on December 18, we heard of a house that was coming on the market in January. Some of us were familiar with the house and felt as though it may be the answer to our prayers. We called the owners on that day, December 18, and they agreed to let us come look at the house on December 21 with their realtor present. We fell in love with the house.
Although the house originally was not going to be on the market until January 15, the owners and their realtor allowed us to sign a contract and make a deposit on that day, December 21. They were happy that a church was purchasing their property. The deposit was made with personal funds. We were blessed that this very nice home at 117 Gin Branch Ct could become the new LUMC Parsonage provided that the Church Council gave their approval.
The Parsonage Study Committee voted unanimously at their January 11th meeting to present the proposal to purchase the house at the January 21 Church Council Meeting. At this January 21 Council Meeting, all members present voted to purchase this house at 117 Gin Branch Ct with a closing date of March 25, 2021. The purchase price was $313,900 with $1,600 closing costs. An additional $12,500 was approved to replace the roof. Later $10,000 was approved to purchase some new furniture for the new Parsonage.
It was the feeling of many members that the Lord had provided us with the right house at the right time. This purchase saved us from all the headaches of building which would have included extra costs, extra work, and the disruptions of moving our new minister into our old Parsonage and then another move into the new Parsonage. For many reasons we are proud of our nice new Parsonage at 117 Gin Branch Ct.