In early 1981 we found ourselves a part of a group of people who needed a place to worship. Because
of the hunger for God in our midst, we began meeting in the living room of Brother Sammy and Sister Reba Swain. We didn't
have a church at the time, so we just pushed back the furniture in their living room and began to have services.
Soon, the room couldn't hold all the people and we began looking for another meeting place. We rented a little building
on Highway 80 in Grand Saline called "Odd Fellows" Lodge Building. Some people called us the "Odd Fellow Bunch"
because we were having services in that building! the building was used for lots of other things as well. We would go in early
to sweep out the litter and other things that had been left by other organizations that used the building.
God began to put a vision in the hearts of some of the Elders that we needed a place of our own, a place that we
could sanctify and set apart for worship. A place totally dedicated to the Lord. We weren't people of money, we didn't have
finances to do this kind of work, but God had given us a vision so we began to look around to see what we could do.
We looked at a deserted church building. We thought maybe we could rent it or even buy it, but that came to a dead-end.
We thought we could maybe buy a piece of land but that too came to a dead-end. Several different ways we tried to go, but
it seemed like with everything there was a hindrance and nothing worked out. All this time we were praying and seeking God,
asking Him to help us and lead us in the way He would have us go.
Brother Sammy and Sister Reba
Swain prayed about the situation and decided to donate the land to build the church. They did not know until later that during
the time the church was looking for a home God had spoken to their son, Brother Mack Swain, through prayer and had shown him
the exact spot the church would be built. This was a confirmation to us that God was leading us and taking care of us and
we began to take pledges for the building.
Around the 1st of march in 1981 Brother
Sammy Swain began to break up the land and prepare a pad for the building. He enjoyed doing things the old-fashioned way.
So even though he had tractors and tools of that kind he could've used, he chose to break up the land with a pair of mules.
By the time he finished this, the pledges had come in from our people. With the belssing of God and the donations
that had come in we had $3,000 in our account for the building. The men of the church went to a professional building contractor
that did foundation work and asked him to give an estimation of what he would charge to build the foundation for our church.
He figured it up and said it would cost $5,000. We told him we had $3,000 to begin the work with and maybe by the time
the foundation was finished we could have the other amount to pay him. This contractor was a man who did not go to church,
and as far as we know didn't claim to be a Christian. He said, "I'll tell you what I'll do, I'll donate my work if you
will pay for the materials and pay my hands". We did. He poured our foundation and the amount came to $3,000.
After that, work never stopped. We thought we would work a little, accumulate some more money, and do a little more.
But God had set His plan in motion and there was no stopping it. God blessed us everywhere we turned. Folks around town donated
many of the building materials and most of the labor. People who didn't even know the Lord were coming forward to help.
We had our first service in our new building the first week of June in 1981.There was no air-conditioning, no pew
seats. The building was "in the dry" with a concrete floor. It was the most beautiful place. We borrowed folding
chairs from the fire station to sit in. Brother Carl Means built a pulpit for the sanctuary today. We gradually began to do
the finish work on the inside, never missing a service.
God put us thorugh a lot of things in
order to do a work He had planned. It wasn't done without opposition, it wasn't without testing of our faith. It wasn't without
some tears. God said, "He that suffers with me shall also reign with me." God is looking for a people He can work
Truly God is working in the place we call New Testament Holiness Church.