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These have been exciting days for Haywood Baptists! After a mild winter, we have entered the season of spring, and more is changing besides the weather. Since the fall meeting when the Association voted to sell our current building and property, we only had two inquiries. One never became serious; the other made an offer, and we settled on a price. Lake Junaluska Sanitation District signed a contract, and the closing took place on April 10. We have deposited the check, and after all the legal and real estate fees were taken out, we have realized $710,325! We have moved our furnishings, equipment, books, files, and such to the former East Waynesville Baptist Church, destined to become the Haywood Baptist Association Mission Center.

There is a lot to be done. I think of Churchill’s statement after the British defeated Rommel and the Germans, “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” That’s where we are. Exciting and tiring—even a bit overwhelming.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

I have to remind myself of this, as patience is a bit of a challenge for me. I once made a statement to Sugarfork Baptist Church, where I pastored in Franklin, as I led them in a building program, “You know what they say, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day!’” The Chairman of the Building Committee sarcastically retorted, “That’s only because you weren’t in charge!”

Change is never easy. There was a time last week that I thought, “What was I thinking? I didn’t need this. We could have rocked along where we were instead of rocking the boat and moving!”

That is not in my DNA. I am always looking for ways to expand the ministry--seeking Gospel opportunities beyond current horizons. We have a vision of making a greater impact for the Kingdom of God. That journey has begun, and we will take one step at a time, seeking God’s favor day by day.

Pray for us. Join hands and help us. Our passion is to add value to our churches, and help encourage and equip them for the ministry God has established them to fulfill. We are located in a different place, but committed to the same purpose.

Thanks for the privilege of serving you!

Yours On Mission Together,

Dennis Thurman, AMS

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