From burden to blessing
by Michael Howlett
What started out as a burden has turned into a blessing for the Hillsville Pentecostal Holiness Church. The church was saddled with a water/sewer bill of over $12,000 in October of 2012, but thanks to donations from churches, individuals and businesses, the bill has not only been paid off, but money has been added to the church’s building fund.
“I want to thank all the churches, individuals and businesses, and the prayers of many. It showed me what can happen when people come together, and when God is involved,” said Pastor Jeff Pickett. “There are no words to express how I feel. It felt like everything was against me, but God turned it around to His glory.”
Pickett added that it was “a month and five days” from the time the story of the church’s plight appeared in The Carroll News that enough donations were received to pay off the bill.
“Somebody even came in off the street and paid a $100 on our regular bill,” he said.
A water leak that ran into the sewer for a period of almost three months resulted in a bill of $14,323.74. At the Oct. 22 meeting of the Hillsville Town Council, three payment options were considered for the church’s debt. One option would have reduced the bill to $8,843.24 and another would have put the bill at $12,776.94. Council agreed on the third option of $12,220.62.
Hillsville Pentecostal Holiness Church will not only begin the New Year without a major debt, but with new programs.
“The first Sunday of January we are starting our children’s church, for ages five to 11, at 11 a.m., and we will have a nursery for newborns to four,” said Pickett. “We’re very excited about what happened this past year with our youth and are expecting even greater things this year in our youth program. It’s the first year we’ve really focused on the youth.”
In November, the church received permission from the Hillsville VFW to hold a fundraiser at its facility. Originally, the money raised from the fundraiser would have gone to pay the water/sewer bill. However, now it will go to the church’s building fund.
“We already had the VFW building, so we decided to go ahead with it,” said Pickett. “We appreciate the support of everybody who wants to come out to further the kingdom of God.”
The fundraiser will be held on Sunday, Jan. 6, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The $6 meal will include chicken, green beans, rolls, a choice of potato salad or macaroni salad, a dessert and canned Pepsi products. Take-out plates will be prepared.
Entertainment will be supplied by three singing groups, beginning with the New River Boys from noon to 1 p.m. Close To Home will perform from 1 to 2 p.m. and The Preacher’s Choir of Hillsville Pentecostal Holiness Church will fill the 2 to 3 p.m.
For more information, contact Pastor Jeff Pickett at 233-6971.
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