Our prophetic words have made us all keenly aware that the time of the Church age is soon coming to an end. This is why we began to feel an urgency to prepare for revival by completing the second phase of God’s plan for our church. Knowing that many people will be supernaturally birthed into the Kingdom on that glorious day when God pours out His Spirit, we clearly understood that our present sanctuary would be too small. Thus, we would need another meeting room for an over flow crowd. We also knew that our current ministries—a Bible School, and a book publishing company needed to be expanded and enlarged. Therefore, the plans for a second building adjacent to our present church was eventually birthed within our hearts.
After much thought and fervent prayer, we proposed a formal plan to house a food distribution center for the poor, a counseling office for Pastor Caram, a Bible School and meeting room for various youth activities, and a much needed print shop for the production of Pastor Caram’s book ministry. Then, in God’s perfect timing, the leadership was introduced to a retired architect living in the area. At this time, we had no available funds for a down payment for the necessary drawings, but Byron Salsman was still very willing to work with us. It is important to note here that it was after we took this initial step of faith to hire Byron that God began to financially provide. This first step would actually last approximately two years. Yet, God was teaching us about His faithfulness through the kindness of this Christian brother, who only charged us a fraction of the normal cost for the architectural plans on a “pay as you can” basis.
As we waited, hoped, prayed, and continued to keep the vision of this new building at the forefront of our hearts and minds, the next miracle of provision came in the form of free office furniture, which included conference tables, padded chairs, and expensive executive desks for a building that was still just a dream! This used, but beautiful furniture, was headed for a dumpster because the new owners of an office complex had no use for it. Here again we were seeing the hand of the Lord, as He gave us an earnest of what He intended to do for us in the future. As Pastor Miller joyfully said, “It was as if God was giving us the icing on the cake before we even had the cake!”
When God originally began to speak to us to prepare for the greatest revival the world has ever seen, we thought it was going to happen after God brought an increase to our small congregation. However, in the spring of 2012, we received several large anonymous gifts of provision. These financial miracles convinced us that Jehovah Jireh had spoken to “rise up and build,” and by faith, we felt to obey. As a result, we held our ground breaking service for the new building on May 22, 2012, just two days before the twenty-fifth anniversary of our first one.
When we began the work on our second building, we hoped to have enough funds to have it closed in for the winter. There were a number of times, however, when our finances got pretty close to the “bottom of the barrel.” Yet, this was always the time when God would send us another miracle of provision. In faithfulness, God also honored our prayer and gave us a heated, closed in building well before the cold, snowy Potter County winter began. All these miracles, small and large, caused us to understand that God intended to finish what He had started on His time schedule, not ours! In fact, instead of taking eight years to finish our building project, the Brian Bailey International Building was completed in just one year. You can imagine what a spiritually enriching experience this was for our little thirty member congregation, as we watched God provide (within just one year) $421,000.00 to completely pay for this awesome undertaking. To God be the glory, great things He has done!
The Word of God in Jeremiah 29:11 tells us: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” For us, this “expected end” included many miracles. It also included many kind and generous acts of love from the hand and heart of numerous Christians who desired to be a part of what God was doing here in Ulysses. The memory of these good deeds will never be forgotten, for they are for us a sign of the tremendous faithfulness of God who was working through these willing vessels to bless us. To try to list all of these loving actions would be too difficult, but it is to the glory of God to mention some of our major blessings from the hand of God, as well as others.
For example, as our building plans began to progress, we needed an engineer to do our Storm Water and Soil Erosion plans. Initially we were informed that this project would take six months and the cost would be approximately $10,000.00. Miraculously, God provided these plans in just four weeks at the low price of $4,800.00. We received another miracle when the quote from Code Inspections came in for our building permit. To our surprise, they gave us a very unexpected twenty-five per cent discount. Then, when we were ready to order the Superior basement walls, we thought the price would be close to $30,000.00 because of a previous estimate we had received two years before. Yet God had another surprise waiting for us in the form of a church and cash discount from them, which brought down the cost of the walls to $20,600.00. Framing our building was an enormous endeavor, but we purchased all of our framing materials from a lumber company, who graciously gave us a discount of thousands of dollars. This, however, was just the beginning of God using His people to bless us.
When it was time to cover the roof and keep everything inside dry, we went from a grass lawn to a 5,660 square foot building with a roof in only fifty days! This could not have been accomplished without the Master Builder using His master craftsmen to complete the job so quickly. Another miracle of provision came from a paint company called Sherwin Williams. They sold us over 100 gallons of paint at a forty to fifty per cent discount, and then delivered it free of charge. Next, we received another unexpected blessing of new, free window shutters for the outside of all of our buildings. A great miracle also came from the Assistant Manager of a Building and Home Center, who sold us doors, sheetrock, floor coverings, hardware, carpet, and many other things too numerous to mention at only ten per cent above cost.
Throughout this exciting building project, we continually saw the hand of God working for us. For instance, several contractors told us that we would not be able to build for anything less than $100.00 per square foot. However, the actual cost of the Brian Bailey International Building ended up being less than $75.00 per square foot. This price includes plans, permits, excavating, furnishings, and much more. For our little flock in Ulysses, it has truly been a joy and privilege to watch God complete His purposes by building us a Bible School and a print shop. We are in awe of His grace and goodness when we consider and meditate upon the passage in Psalm 127:1: “Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it.” Since the beginning of our church almost thirty-three years ago, we have had wonderful words spoken over us regarding what God is going to do in our church and community. So far, many of these words have not yet come to pass, but we still continue to cling to these promises and with a resolute oneness we are declaring together, “We choose to believe!”