Church Drops Anchor in Stanfield

April 02, 2015 | Claudia Flaiz

More than 10 years ago, nearly a dozen people felt led to plant a church in the small town of Stanfield, Ore. They church-hopped, renting Saturday spaces in Sunday churches and growing in size as they went. At times, there were as many “unchurched” seekers as there were member believers. After years of trying to avoid it, having become known as Anchor Point Adventist Church, they finally purchased an old, long-abandoned elementary school in Stanfield — only because “the signs were too bold to ignore,” says JoAnn Rincker, longtime elder and pastoral assistant. “All the other options disappeared behind closing doors."

Money was thin to turn the 1950s school into a 21st-century place of worship, though a food bank was firmly established on the grounds more than 10 years ago. A few years passed while waiting for permits and funds. Discouragement took its toll on the membership, and attendance waned. But the dreams never disappeared completely for what the converted old school could be for the community — a place to find faith, direction and God.

The dreams included a day shelter for homeless and elder care, the gymnasium opened for the local teens to play basketball, and classrooms for community education, meetings and activities. Members hoped to provide space for AA/NA meetings, counseling services, health education, and a dental and medical clinic. They dreamed of a thrift store, youth activities and after-school tutoring. At last these dreams began to turn into reality when an anonymous giver donated a generous sum toward this project, allowing plans and permits to begin in a material way.

By the time the contractor was hired and work had begun, the costs began revealing themselves to be greater than anticipated. This came as “no surprise for God,” says Toni Eddy, board member. It became apparent funds were insufficient to finish phase one of the project, allowing the church to take up permanent residence in Stanfield. The town has watched, and various events have made it evident the community is interested and eager to see the revitalizing of this old building.

The project is still moving ahead at this time; the flock is still paying the bills, eagerly waiting to see how and when God will provide the more than $300,000 needed to finish the first phase of the remodel. “He will provide out of His riches, and in His time,” acknowledges Mike Botti, building committee chairman. Church members ask for prayers for God's provision in His own perfect timing.