Church receives unusual donation
The Rev. David Showalter was shocked.
"We about had a heart attack," said the pastor at the McLouth Church of the Nazarene. "That doesn't happen very often."
About a week ago, an elder with an Oskaloosa church gave Showalter's church a $5,000 gift, which left the always-gregarious Showalter nearly speechless.
Bob Crowe, one of three elders at Living Water Evangelical Free Church, explained that although the gift was unique, members of his church felt moved to help.
"We prayed about it," Crowe said. "We believe there is a need in our communities around the area for the word of God to be taught and promoted. There are some churches that don't do that these days. We see the Nazarene church over there, and they teach and preach the word. We see that church growing and taking a step in faith to build a building."
In June, Showalter said, the McLouth church could start meeting in its new building, just east of town. And within a few weeks, the Oskaloosa church will break ground on its own building.
The Living Water church was founded about 20 months ago. The 17 members met in a parishioner's living room. Growth moved them to a room at the Oskaloosa library. And now, they've moved to the multipurpose room at Oskaloosa Middle School. Church attendance now averages 80, Crowe said.
On seven acres it owns just west of Oskaloosa, the church plans to construct a multipurpose center that would serve as a temporary sanctuary, and would house Sunday school classrooms, a kitchen and a gathering area. The 13,000-square-foot building would hold 300 to 350 people and cost about $400,000 to construct.
"Right now, we have about $106,000 or $107,000 in the kitty toward the building's start," Crowe said.
Within the next three years, parishioners hope to begin building a church building.
Church members feel good about passing on some help to others, Crowe said.
"We're very unselfish and feel the Lord has blessed us in many ways," he said.