...The year 1963…we are 23-24 yrs old……..
We said our good byes to the wonderful Missouri folk. Mixed feelings, hating to leave, but a trend had started, was it greener pastures? Or was it the excitement of something new. I still do not know what motivated me.
But, as in the past, everything we owned could fit in the car and on the luggage rack. This assignment would be different. We knew the Missouri folk when we came. This one held more anticipation because we did not know these folk we were headed for, although it was our home state. We always loved trips.
It was a nice wood frame parsonage with a room for the boys. Clean and neat and also had a washer and dryer, we had never had that.
Again we met some very nice and supportive folk. At this church we also had a young professional quality singer, Kenneth Hensley. He was George Beverly Shea quality. Later proved it, singing with professionals and at huge church supported meetings. He married Priscilla, one of the best pianist in the world and that is not an exaggeration. He now is a retired Dr. of Divinity.
(The preacher and his sons in Rutherfordton, NC)
The church did not have a Sunday School department building. The church was out of debt, so I did some figuring and knew we could afford to build some Sunday School rooms. I had never built a building before but looking at it I thought, “How hard can that be?”
After the land graded, Kenneth and I mixed the mortar and laid the blocks for the foundation, at the instructions of his uncle. Then we laid out the floor and added it. We would have volunteers every once in awhile. Then blessings of Blessings, Luke Tucker, a general contractor (Von Dale’s dad) came up to show us how to do the rest. I learned that building was really fun and enjoyed ever bit of it.
The fun part was when it was finished and we needed the electricity turned on. Picture this: The building is finished, plumbed, electrical and paint, DONE! So I went down town to the power company. “I need the power run to a new building.”
“No problem preacher, what is the permit numbers? I will need your plans also.”
“What permits and plans?”
“The numbers off your building permit showing all the inspections were completed as you built. I’ll need the architect you used.”
“I don’t have a permit, and I drew the plans as we went along.”
“You are kidding right? A commercial building completed and no permits?”
“Yes Sir, that is right, I didn’t know I needed those.”
“Excuse me, I will be right back.” The man disappeared. I stood there wondering WHAT HAVE I DONE?
A few minutes later he returned, “Reverend, this is our local engineer. He knows the City inspectors, they are going to follow you out to the site and tell you what has to be done. If this was not a church, you would tear out the sheet rock so we could see the electrical and plumbing. IF they decide that, it will be the least you will do. I have never heard of anything like this in my life.” He said shaking his head.
I have NEVER appreciated church going people so much in my life. The Engineer and two inspectors went thru the building pretty thoroughly, They were good natured Laughing and talking, not believing this had been done.
In the end we conferenced. “Reverend, the building looks good. The work is near top notch, who drew the plans and done the work?”
“I drew the plans as we went,” and I handed him my pencil sketches, “some volunteers from the church and I done the work. We did have a General Contractor out of Charlotte here with us for the roof and some interior walls.”
He smiled big, “WE have all had dealings in building for our churches, but to be honest this is the craziest situation we have seen. But this is what we are going to do. The city EXPECTS money for permits. You get a check for the amount the city says, $35.00. When that is done the inspector is going to sign off on all the inspections, when that is completed, come down to the power company and we will give you power. BUT PLEASE DON’T DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS AGAIN!”
“YES SIR, and thank you all. and I am sorry for all the trouble.”
“No trouble, you do realize you built practically an entire church with no permits don’t YOU? Please be careful, if this building burns in the next few months we are all in trouble.” added the city inspectors.
Boy, was the Lord on my side or what?
Thanks for coming by the LOG.
There are times in life that forgiveness is easier than getting permission. (I would hate to face that situation described above, today)
Well Ford said it was here to stay, but it was not.
But the 1959 Plymouth Fury was a hit.