Vancouver Church Celebrates Blessings and Miracles During New Sanctuary Grand Opening

December 01, 2006 | Linda Shaver

Vancouver (Wash.) Church members rejoiced and celebrated during its sanctuary grand opening event on Sept. 23.

Don Livesay, Oregon Conference president, said, "The official opening of the Vancouver Church sanctuary was one of the most significant events in the Oregon Conference during 2006. It was a wonderful time of giving glory to God for the miracle of this beautiful and functional new building. But much more, the members of the Vancouver Church showed a true spirit of Commission Culture. The warm friendliness, the spirit of service and of commitment was clearly evident."

Leading up to the sanctuary grand opening event was story after story of miracles. The church was denied a building permit for three consecutive years, but then after an appeal was won at the Supreme Court level on a similar land issue the church faced, county officials approved the permit without question.

Another miracle: During the selling of its former property, a contact was made that resulted in a donation and delivery of between 24,000 to 28,000 yards of dirt, lowering costs from $200,000 to $6,000.

Then Maranatha Volunteers agreed to provide the labor by framing both wings of the building if the permit was issued by a certain date. The date passed without the permit, and Maranatha issued a second and then a third and final date. The church received the permit five minutes before the 4:30 p.m. deadline, and volunteers of Maranatha saved the church $60,000 in labor.

The members originally decided to build when they discovered that the cost of adding much-needed amenities to their former church building would be approximately $600,000 and even then there would be no guarantee of obtaining a permit.

In 1999, when regular Sabbath attendance was 125, a business meeting with 95 members attending was held, and a secret ballot revealed that all but three voted in favor of a new building.

"We felt the Holy Spirit was attending us in the decision as to whether to build or to stay," said Stan Wilson, a long-time member.

Livesay adds, "It is clear that the dedication and sacrifice of many has resulted in a church that is focused on placing God first and partnering with Him to do great things for the kingdom of heaven."