One of my favorite truisms is “He who plants trees loves others besides himself.” Much of our impatience in life comes from selfishly desiring immediate fulfillment of our hopes and dreams. David had a vision for a temple for the Lord God, but had to accept the role of preparation for, rather than construction of, the temple.
When I interviewed at Crestview with the search committee we discussed future building ideas. I shared with them that at FBC Kingsville we had gotten out of all debt and operated debt free. Even though I was not opposed to debt, I was opposed to debt that stifles ministry. The first thing that I began to tackle at Crestview was to lead the church to pay of the remaining debt on the Worship Center. We did so in fairly short order. Some complained that we would just have to produce another debt when we were done, but I kept telling them that when you pile debt on debt you soon produce a situation where you cannot do ministry because you are paying so much interest on your debt. We quickly paid off each of the six houses we purchased over the years. We built and paid off the children’s building and gymnasium in less than seven years. I had originally predicted we would do it in five years, but purchasing houses prevented us from meeting that goal. The cumulative benefits far outweighed the year and a few months difference between my prediction and the results. The Lord seemed to be leading me and the church to first do some initial renovations before our most recent building campaigns. We developed a beautiful prayer chapel. Allene White had always wanted Crestview to keep a room devoted to prayer. This room would be by far the most useful and beautiful room we ever had. Allene had passed away just prior to this vision so we keep a picture of her in the chapel. She and her husband, Travis, were key leaders in the founding of Crestview. Allene was our leader of the support staff when I arrived in Georgetown and was on the search committee. Her greatest service to Crestview was her burning passion as a prayer warrior. This passion led to many areas of faithful service to the Lord. We dropped the ceiling in the original sanctuary and put in movable walls so that it could serve as classrooms. This room had much sentimental meaning for founding and long time members, but was very hard to use for bible study. Buck Christian led our men in preparing the room for this change. He had done so many wonderful things in the development of Crestview that his involvement made the move more acceptable to those who feared losing the vaulted ceiling in the space. When we were done, the side of the columns were still visible, but the room became a marvelously usable room. We cut a new hallway that finally connected the East Wing to the West. At one time you had to go outside to go from one part to the other. I have always believed that a church needs to be one complex and that once a person is inside they should be able to move through the complex without going outside. As we have developed our facilities, this vision has guided us. We transformed SoloHouse into a first class facility during this time. We had originally called a house on Williams Drive SoloHouse, but when we decided to tear that house down we moved the name to the present house on the West side. This house is famous now and looks like it was built to be a part of our campus. It has just enough distance to help those who are not inclined to go to a Baptist church be willing to come to programs and attend bible study. Once they come, the vast majority will attend other services and events at Crestview and do not concern themselves that we are Baptist.
My point in these developments is to arrive at recording the fact that when we began the adult education building and the extensive remodel and rebuilding campaign in our central complex we carried no debt at all into the process. Had we not been debt free these present developments would have been daunting and probably would have caused deep cuts in our ministry budget. It is possible that existing debt would have prevented the nearly unanimous support and unified vision that allowed these things to come to pass.
The key to all I have written here is patience. If Jesus tarries in his return, coming generations of servants of the Lord will be blessed by this marvelous complex as a powerful tool for ministry. I am already praying for the next pastor who will come when my work is done. I am praying that he will be a man of great character who is mighty in the Word. I am praying that he will have a passion for missions and evangelism. I am praying that he will love God and love people. I am also praying that he will be a man with God given patience who can wait on the Lord as the church transitions to his leadership so that there be no divisions in the fellowship of this great church that God has raised up for his glory.