God's Miracles Bring Meridian Mortgage-Burning

August 30, 2016 | Karen Pearson

If there is one thing members of the Meridian Church know, it is this: The story of how their church came to be is nothing less than a miracle. They celebrated God’s providence in a mortgage-burning ceremony and shared the following story on June 25.

A group of believers from the Boise Church found and purchased a small, one-story brick building in Meridian in 1975. They paid $39,000 in cash. Members came together to renovate and decorate, and, on Oct. 1, 1976, the Meridian Church was officially organized with 62 charter members and Philip Samaan as its first pastor.

For the next 15 years, the little church continued to thrive because members had a dream: to one day purchase a new and bigger church. In 1988, they found 3 1/4 acres of prime property on Ten Mile and Cherry Lane being sold by an estate that specifically wanted the land to go for a church. The selling price was only $25,000.

Once the Meridian members had paid for the land, they sold their old church and rented from a United Methodist church. Ground was broken in 1995, and building began in phases, starting with classrooms and a multipurpose room.

As Meridian Church members were burning that mortgage and preparing to begin the last phase of building the sanctuary, they were approached by Walgreens, which wanted the prime location for a new store. The offer was declined.

Walgreens persisted and, two years later, in 2005, made an incredible offer. In exchange for the property on Ten Mile, Walgreens would build a church on 5 acres of land and hand over the keys to the congregation. The offer was accepted, and the members voted to take out a small loan to extend the building and enable room for further growth. Members began worshipping in their beautiful, brand-new church in October 2006.

The Meridian Church will mark its 40th year as a congregation this October. Like many churches across North America, Meridian has seen many pastors and interns come and go over the years. But members' commitment to being a light in their community has never dimmed.

And now they have another dream: to further impact their community through developing an outreach strategy that will meet the needs of the people of Meridian. Working closely with the mayor’s office and the Idaho Conference office, Meridian Church members are excited to see how the Lord will continue to lead and bless as they strive to shine their light across the Treasure Valley.