In 2006, as our little parish was just beginning, another church was dwindling in membership. Mars Hill Baptist Church decided to sell their building to Central Baptist Church. Central Baptist had a vision of turning the building on Robinson Road into a Christian Ministries Center which would allow temporary shelter for several start up groups and non- profits. The groups would benefit by sharing expenses. At the same time, Central Baptist would benefit by having space to use for different missional projects.
The Associate Pastor for Central Baptist Church, Robert Bowman, was our contact person when we rented space for our prayer services. During the week of July 16, 2006, Robert Bowman and Ron Henry were speaking by phone about us reserving a room for July 27th. Throughout July we needed more space for several meetings with visiting Priests and Bishops who were counseling us about Anglican affiliations. We were alternating our meetings between Central Baptist and Westminster Presbyterian to accommodate the larger crowds.
During their conversation, Robert told Ron about the building on Robinson Road, and that the board was looking for partners to rent space. Robert thought they would charge $250 per Sunday for the sanctuary and $50 per classroom. By this time, we had formed a Steering Committee and most of us were not sure we could afford to rent the space. We had a visiting priest and +Bishop from AMIA coming on July 21st to meet with us, so we decided to tour the building before our meeting. In the meantime, Robert told Ron to submit a proposal stating our beliefs and requesting consideration for the property. Robert would take the proposal to the board that next week.
A group of us met Robert Bowman at the facility on Robinson Road at 10:00 am on July 21st. After we viewed the property we were overwhelmed. It was perfect for our needs, but we knew it would be expensive, and we had no idea how many people we had. We had no Priest (Chris Cairns had not yet joined us); we had no treasury, no name, and no official organization. A local attorney was helping us get a Tax ID number and a charter.
While we were touring the sanctuary, I noticed the visiting +Bishop, TJ Johnston, in the back corner alone in contemplation and prayer. Later, Ron asked the Bishop for his opinion. Bishop Johnston told Ron he would not have left without writing a deposit check as long as we could get it for at least a year.
Throughout July and August we met in the basement of Central Baptist for evening prayer. During this time, the board at Central Baptist had been praying about our proposal and had unanimously agreed to work with us. Robert called Ron and told him they would rent the property on a graduated scale; $1000 per month for the first 6 months and unlimited use upstairs and an office for our new Priest, Chris Cairns.
In six months the rent would go up to $1500 per month with a balloon payment at the end for classrooms. The Steering Committee all agreed and met for the first time at the new property which had been renamed Middlebrook Christian Minintries Center, on September 10, 2006 at 4:00 for Alpha training, 5:00 service, and 6:00 celebration dinner. We met again for afternoon services on September 17 and 24. On October 1, 2006 we had our first Sunday morning service in our new home.
Once again, God answered our prayers. Thanks be to God!