A Faithful Vision

Many years ago, I was talking with a retired Methodist minister about the highlights of his more than 50 years in ministry. He talked about the friends he had made, the weddings he had officiated, and baptisms, and funerals he had performed. But one of his most important memories was that every church he had served over the years had grown. 

In fact, every church he had served had a building program of some sort during his tenure as the pastor. Whether it was new Sunday School classrooms, a family life center, space for youth and children ministries, or even a new sanctuary the people had  a vision for what they wanted their church to be in the future. So, they invested their resources, their time, their talents, and their finances in the future of the church.

He continued that he never liked borrowing money, but realized sometimes the need to grow required a church to borrow the funds needed to fulfill their vision. In every case, the congregation rallied together to meet the financial goals of paying off their debt as quickly as possible. 

That is an amazing legacy of leadership and vision. One that very few pastors can claim. 

Which brings me to the point of this letter. As you know, in September 2004, Hurricane Ivan, a category 5 storm, made landfall just west of Gulf Shores. The damages caused by Ivan totaled over $26 Billion. Among the buildings destroyed or damaged beyond repair was the Bay Minette Methodist Church sanctuary that had stood since July 1926. 

In the days that followed, the church began to envision what a new church building might look like. Eventually, that vision led to the construction of the most beautiful sanctuary we now enjoy.  

After the vision for a new sanctuary was completed, came the task of paying for the vision. Eventually, the church obtained a mortgage for $3 Million. By December 2012, the debt had been paid down to $2.5 Million. That amount was refinanced with a payoff date of December 2027. For over 10 years the church has been faithful in meeting our monthly commitment. 

Which brings me to some exciting news! Due to the generosity of so many people who shared a vision for what the church could be and the excellent leadership of many people on the church Finance and Investment Teams, the outstanding balance on the mortgage has been reduced to only 


In addition, a commitment has been made by Church Leaders to pay off the remaining balance by December 2024, to coincide with the church’s 150th Anniversary Celebration. This will be three years earlier than initially planned and will save thousands of dollars in interest. 

This tremendous blessing is a testimony to the vision and faithfulness of God’s people through the years. Since 1874, when Andrew Jackson Lamar was appointed to preach at the church in Bay Minette, our ancestors have been faithful to God’s vision for the church. 

Through the years, we have faced pandemics, wars, social unrest, and natural disasters. Yet, we have not strayed from our mission of reaching this community with the love of Jesus Christ. As we look forward to what God will do in our lives and our church, let us have the vision to continue to be faithful. The future of Bay Minette Methodist Church is indeed bright. 

Thank you for your vision and faithfulness.

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