|VAUGHN: Gift from God helps local group support smaller churches
|Posted: Sunday, July 8, 2012 5:45 am
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|Editor's Note: This article is the second and last in a two-part series.
Last week I wrote about David Pittman, director of Missions for the Concord Baptist Association in Murfreesboro; how he found his way to Middle Tennessee and how the Concord Association, in Pittman's opinion, received a miracle from God.
In fact, he believes that each day in a person's life is filled with miracles; you must have spiritual eyes and ears to see and hear them.
Last week, I left the story with the Concord Baptist Association agreeing to sell its original property on South Church Street where Auto Zone is now located.
To briefly recap the story, The Concord Association was established in 1810 in Murfreesboro. Land for a permanent home was later donated by a property owner who gave a small portion of his farm on Highway 231 South.
Today, there are 65 area Baptist churches that belong to the association.
With the local economy busting at the seams back a few years ago, the land was more valuable than the aging building that was located on it.
Leaders of the Association were presented some attractive offers to sell to speculative realtors who saw growth potential on the south side of Murfreesboro.
The first offers presented were $750,000 by two different investors. In the world of real estate and business, the three most-important factors are location, location, location.
The ante on purchasing the property grew from those original proposals to an almost unbelievable $1.31 million.
The deal was consummated.
Following the sale, Pittman and the Concord Association began looking for a new location; checking all around from north, south, east and west, and then decided to rent a building near Southeast Broad Street for the next two years so the search could be extended.
Finally, a seemingly ideal spot was a piece of property that is situated behind where the Sonic Drive-In is now located on South Church Street.
By paying cash, the property was obtained for $215,000.
An architect and contractor were secured and construction began.
The total cost of land, building and furnishings was approximately $750,000; leaving the association with a good chunk of change in its bank account. The major question then was what to do with God's money?
Leaders decided to place the nest egg with the Tennessee Baptist Trust Foundation for investing and collecting interest.
"We decided that this was an investment on behalf of the Lord for sharing His gospel and that it should be used for missions; local, area, national and international," Pittman said.
"Our churches apply each year for a matching grant of between $500 and $2,000," he continued. "This allows smaller congregations to have the same opportunities as the larger churches. During the past three years, we have given away $83,000, and just recently matched some grant requests by giving away $20,000."
David Pittman's personal life hit a major bump in the road in 2007 when he began having almost-unbearable pain in his back and chest. Several doctor visits later, there was no relief or explanation.
He was recommended to a neck, back and pain specialist who affirmed that Pittman had cancer.
"A person has to really catch his breath when the word 'cancer' is spelled out to you," he recalled. "The doctor said that the root of the disease was either in my internal organs or in my bones.
"It really changes your perspective on life when facing mortality, even though as a Christian my life is totally in God's hands. This experience has reminded me about the importance of not only living each day to the fullest, but to live in the 'now' … or moment-by-moment."
Pittman goes once a week to the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center in Nashville for chemo therapy. He also maintains a regular work schedule as director of Missions for the Concord Baptist Association.
He added, "I believe that every breath and every heartbeat are miracles from God. Life is so precious and should never be taken for granted."