For more than two years, Smithfield First Church in Smithfield, N.C., has been working to clear a lot next to the church. The building which had been on the site had fallen into disrepair and been demolished, and the lot had become overgrown with weeds. A section of the land that was used as a temporary trash site had become permanent.
The church was looking into using the lot for much-needed parking space. However, due to a change in the local building codes, those plans became unfeasible. The church board decided to request bids just to clear the lot and plant grass to make it less of an eyesore. The members began to secure bids for the work, one of which was $6,500.
A site visit was scheduled for an additional bid. When the local elder arrived, he saw that an excavator was already working, and a dumpster was partially filled. The contractor was only to look at the job and submit a bid. The local elder approached the foreman to apologize for the misunderstanding. The foreman said, “There is no misunderstanding. The owner of the construction company said to clear the lot, remove the trash, and send him the bill!” Additionally, the owner approved the job, bringing 60 tons of topsoil. The next Sabbath was one of special rejoicing, acknowledging God’s answer to prayer.
A plaque commemorating the generosity of the owner, M. Durwood Stephenson, was presented to him by Michael A. Shelton, Smithfield Church pastor. In addition, copies of The Great Controversy and The Desire of Ages were given to Stephenson.
They were reminded of the words of Ellen White which she wrote in The Desire of Ages, p. 330: “Our Father has a thousand ways to answer our prayers of which we know not anything.”
South Atlantic | February 2024