Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ, 

First of all, we want to say “Thank You” for your consistent prayers and encouragement, and give you an exciting update about what God has been doing lately at Gospel Community Church. We hope this encourages you as it has us, leaving you in awe and wonder as to the greatness and love of our great God, and helps identify ways you can continue to pray for GCC in the upcoming months.  

Over the past year, the Pastors and Members of GCC have been looking tirelessly for a place our church could call “Home”; a place located within a community that we could adopt and help reach; a place to fully contextualize our service to meet the needs of ALL of our members and those our church is on mission to reach (Deaf, Hearing, Disabled, Etc.). Transparently speaking, we’re quite happy and comfortable where we currently meet, and we’re blessed that the leaders of Heritage Baptist Church have generously allowed us to occupy their unused space. But there is limitations on what can be accomplished to contextualize without stepping on toes and hindering relationships in which we treasure greatly. So we’ve exhausted lists from real estate professionals and commercial brokers, and have driven the streets looking for adequate properties more times than we care to admit. We’ve been unable to find a building that would be affordable for a church that primarily reaches an often poverty-stricken people group (the majority of the Deaf Population live on Disability – unable to gain employment despite their abilities), and one that could be physically altered to meet our needs.

That is, until about 6 weeks ago

Here’s the skinny:  About six weeks ago, the Pastors of GCC were touring a building we had found that would have possibly been adequate for our church after some large renovations. This building was strategically located in an area of our community where roughly 80% of the Deaf population reside, and one that is in great need of the Gospel. The biggest issues with this building however was the amount of renovations it would take to make it inhabitable, as well as the lack of parking (it had NONE). But we did notice a huge empty lot behind the building, as well as a parking area connected to the facility next door that would solve the parking issue. With a little research, we found that both the empty lot and the parking area were owned by the organization next door (which is a Catholic charity), so we approached the Director of this organization simply asking for permission to utilize the lot and the parking area if we were to purchase the building next door. In that initial meeting, the gentleman we met with expressed excitement about our ministry, and offered to talk with his board about the possibility of “gifting” us the empty lot behind the building. He also expressed how his organization may be willing to discuss selling their facility to us (instead of the one we were touring), which was roughly the same size and in MUCH better physical condition. We figured at the time (and seeing how this property wasn’t even for sale) that this organization would be asking a price our church would not be able to afford (due to it’s condition and the size of the property). But wanting to pursue and exhaust all options, we asked him to check and see what his board would be willing to do. 

After a few weeks, the Director of this Catholic charity contacted us to let us know that their board had met and discussed our proposal (to utilize the empty lot and parking area, and our interest in discussing purchasing their facility). In that board meeting they had agreed to sell us their building and ALL property connected to it for what they owed on it – if we wanted to pursue it – which is about $45,000 LESS than the asking price of the building we originally were looking at next door. We estimate that if we purchase and renovate this property (over the initial property we were considering), it would save us well over $80,000 in renovation costs alone, and over $125,000 in total costs!   But wait, that’s not all…….At the same time all of this building pursuit was occurring, God was providing behind the scenes in even MORE ways. You see, we had saved roughly $24,000 in our Building Fund to put as a “downpayment” on whatever property we found (to purchase or to lease). And in this short 6-week timeframe, God worked in the hearts of folks within our church and within the hearts of our planting partners, and as of this past week, GCC now has the financial means in its Building Fund to PURCHASE THIS BUILDING DEBT FREE!   

To give you some perspective as to how huge of a blessing this is, you should know that there is only ONE other church in the U.S. aimed at reaching the Deaf Community that has it’s own contextualized facility, and that specific facility was built and maintained utilizing funds from a posthumous gift from a single donor (which is also a huge blessing and a gracious gift from God). Yes, this past several weeks have been a GREAT display of what God and God alone can do, and we hope you will rejoice with us at this news.

And this leads us to an important request: 

– We would like to invite you and/or your local church to invest in the work God is doing here, and to help us get this building “in shape” so that we can start reaching out into the community around it with the Gospel while providing those who believe a safe space to come worship and grow with us. We have a laundry list of work to be done, from drywall installation and finishing, lighting installation, painting, flooring, landscaping, to bathroom build-outs, plumbing, and general cleanup. We’d like to invite you to invest in up to three different ways:

  1. We would like to encourage your church (or a group within) to prayerfully consider spending a weekend with us physically working toward fulfilling the physical needs of this building. Many churches travel hundreds and thousands of miles to go on mission trips to build churches and help specific ministries, and there is one right here in your backyard who is reaching an unreached people group and needs help doing so. Would you prayerfully consider sending a team to physically help us in the coming months? If so, please click here to use the “Contact Us” form, and let us know you’re interested in helping. 
  2. If you’re unable to physically help us with renovations (and even if you are able to), would your church prayerfully consider helping us financially offset the large cost of renovating this new space with a one-time designated gift toward building supplies?  If so, please CLICK HERE for more information on how to give.
  3. If neither of these options are possible for your church, would you please consider marking out a designated time in your schedule each day to pray specifically for Gospel Community Church as it moves forward with implanting itself in this neighborhood? Pray that God will stir the hearts of those in our membership to consistently be “IN” the community we are aiming to reach…that God would soften the hearts of those we meet…that He would give us the opportunity to have Gospel conversations with families in the neighborhood, and that the seed of the gospel will fall upon good soil as we sow. Pray that lives will be changed and hearts won for the Kingdom in this community. 

Brothers and Sisters, we again want to say “Thank You” for all you’ve done for us, and hope you are as encouraged as we are at this point.  We love and intercede for each of you, and we would not be where we are without God working in and through you. Praise be to Him and Him alone! 

Joshua Vandgrift
Worship Pastor
Gospel Community Church
Owensboro, KY