RBD Note: Pastor James & Sis. Virginia Holingsworth recently launched their church into Revival By Design. Within a few days of launching, God provided this incredible miracle! We are excited about what God has done, and is going to do in LaSalle/Peru, IL. Great REVIVAL reports are just beginning! For more information about this exciting miracle you can go to the church website at www.christapostolicsanctuary.org
Calvary Apostolic Sanctuary was finally holding its own after five years; starting out as a daughter work and then becoming autonomous this past year. We had been renting a small room in a large building for almost two years, and every week we would turn the chairs toward the back for our Kidz Church (KC) service and then (with 15 minutes to spare) we would turn the chairs toward the front for our adult service.
Each Sunday there were more and more visitors stepping around coats, Bibles, KC papers, props, and toys, just to find a seat for the next service.
First impressions were not very impressive, to say the least! Some simply told us they would not return until we had a place to take misbehaving children.
We had comfortable seating for 30 but there was no platform, so visual was always a challenge. The carpet was worn and had peeled up rips from front to back so we had to lay runners to keep people from tripping—and some tripped anyway.
Included in our rent payment was a permanently, grimy bathroom with asphalt splatters around the base of a very wobbly toilet, a moldy floor and sink, no hot water, and a door that enjoyed locking you in so others had to let you out. We were also blessed in attendance with creepy spiders, and the occasional frog, that found its way in during the wet months; and did I mention a leaky ceiling?
It was definitely a humbling place to call “home”, yet people felt God and continued to spread the word about a “new church” in town.
One particular weekend we had our normal chaotic Sunday! Kids were being kids, the vacuum was going, the helpers were tearing down props, people were visiting, prayer music was playing, and five or six of us were kneeling, trying to focus on God before the second service started. Several of us were at the point where we knew something had to give or we could not go on; we were simply at the end of our wits! So, once again we prayed for a building and had songs, preaching, and altar call, and then took some of our people home- thankful the day was over.
As we were locking up, my husband noticed a door to the front section of our building was open. He decided to investigate; afraid our KC kids may have opened it while playing.
“I am so disappointed…” were my husband’s first words when he got back in the car after investigating. He had planned to talk to our landlord about renting that section of the building after we raised the funds to renovate it into a church setting, but it was already being gutted. Someone had already rented it. Before we left the parking lot he called the vacationing landlord who said they were renting it to a gaming company who needed full room to back their trucks in and out of the facility. My husband expressed his disappointment and let him know we were outgrowing our place and would need to look for another.
Within two hours our landlord called back and said this: “I made a few phone calls and stopped all construction on that building until you can get in there and tell them what you want done. They were supposed to cut out two large trailer doors in the morning but I stopped them. I’d rather rent to you all and make other arrangements for the gamer guys if that’s okay. ” He went on to work out a deal and say he would not charge us for any of the renovations, and that his guys could have us in there within three weeks if that’s what we wanted.
We went from waking up on a Sunday morning with dread of the chaos we would encounter (just being honest), to not being able to get to sleep that night from the excitement of designing a new CAS the next day.
True to his word, within three weeks we had a complete and newly updated facility suited for CAS!! This included two easily-noticeable entrances, two KC rooms, two bathrooms, a storage room, a kitchenette, a foyer, and (most loved of all) a brand new sanctuary that doubles our previous long and narrow storage space!
The only way to describe what has happened here is a definite miracle that was specifically maneuvered by God!
Literally! On the same day He told me to hold on just a little while longer, God literally “opened a door” so my husband would be curious enough to investigate what would eventually be the new CAS.
After seeing how proficient the builders were, we decided to get a quote from them on eventually building a platform and office after we were settled in and able to raise the funds. They told us they would not charge for labor if we did it while they were already there, and quoted us a very reasonable price. We gave them the go-ahead and I spent the day thinking on a quick fundraiser that would raise the $800 needed.
By the time I got off work that afternoon, my husband handed me the phone with a big smile and said, “Someone wants to talk to you.” It was Bro. Harold Koonce, a retired pastor from our mother church in Mendota, IL. He said, “Are you ready for a miracle?” And I think you know my answer.
Without knowing the amount needed for a new platform and office, he had raised exactly $800 by calling other Illinois pastors and presenting our need.
The family of God is simply amazing! Our God is truly awesome!!
Our first service in the new sanctuary was a Saturday night Spanish service and one received the Holy Ghost. Within the next three weeks at our Sunday services and at a neighboring revival, four more received the Holy Ghost. We have baptized two, with two more on the list, and we have continuously established new contacts and more home Bible studies.