It really is an amazing story of an elder and his church in Clovis. For many years Central Christian Church was the largest Christian Church and had the largest building of our churches in New Mexico. With its great building it still declined to become a congregation of less than 50. A few years ago most of the elders were abandoning ship.
Lewis Heisch was ready to do the same and had written out his resignation. He was
ready to turn it in that night when that afternoon, by God’s grace I, Errol Stepp, “happened by.” Lewis and I talked for most of an hour. I did not know his plan, but encouraged him as a leader in God’s church. Just a few months ago Lewis told me for the first time that he went home that afternoon and tore up his resignation.
God had plans and a calling on Lewis which he beautifully followed out. Through challenging times, including a ministerial change, he never lost hope. He learned that the church property could be put in trust with Kairos Legacy Partners, a division of Provision. With the other leaders they worked with David Pace, President to determine how this would work for them.
When the trust was approved by the congregation the church’s assets were secured for the use of Central Christian Church or their selected missions. They were secured from take over by any outside church group or their assets being mishandled by anyone.
The Lord has provided some continuing encouragement from the Christian Church Starters. Most of all, God brought Lanny Hemmings as their part-time minister. Lanny is gifted by the Lord in both worship and preaching, The congregation has found ways to minister to the James Bickley Elementary School down the street and host about 150 home schoolers once a week.
Meanwhile, God was growing an independent congregation in Clovis named The Vine. They were planning a building on land in NW Clovis, for further growth, and they needed a better facility than they were meeting in. They reached an agreement with Central which resulted in the complete refurbishing of Central’s building.
Now the parking lot is striped. There is new carpet in the sanctuary and new chairs have replaced pews for four hundred people. There are new sound and lighting systems. New air conditioning and heating units serve the sanctuary. For the future all improvements stay with the building. In addition Central receives a nice rental payment every month.
The Central people rejoice that the building is their place of worship. But they also
rejoice that The Vine fills the building with Christians every Lord’s day and is used by them
through the week. They also rejoice that a Spanish congregation meets there every Sunday
Lewis and the congregation have found that their building being in trust with Kairos has
enabled them to retain ownership as a Christian Church while allowing them to serve the
Kingdom of God in a larger way. Lewis Heisch will travel with me to meet with any
congregation who will consider placing their property in trust. A congregation really may deal
with their building and long term assets in kingdom advancing ways.
Article by Errol Stepp, Executive Director for Christian Church Starters
This article first appeared in a newsletter published by Christian Church Starters on July 6, 2015.