Church holds first service after secret donor paid debt

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BURKE COUNTY, N.C. - Members of Grandview Baptist Church gathered in their Morganton sanctuary Sunday. It was their first meeting there since a bank foreclosed on their property.

Eyewitness News told you last week that a secret donor pledged to give more than $340,000 to get the church out of debt. Sunday Members rejoiced over the news.

"It's taken a while to sink in because it just seems so incredible," said Pastor John Whisnant

The bank foreclosed on the church after it borrowed $575,000 to build a family life center in 2003. The pastor said tough economic times made it hard for them to pay the money back.

"It's almost like everything we did had a ball and chain tied around it, because everything we did had to be focused toward meeting this need."

On the day they were forced to move, a donor offered to pay off the church's debt.

Sunday members said the story had given new life to the old church.

"After hearing and reading about the stories about the miracle here in Morganton, you can't do anything but feel excited and want to be part of it," said church visitor Carrie Brooks.

Members said they were ready to focus on giving back to the community.

"When you have such a need yourself sometimes it's hard to see past that into the community," said one member. "Well now that's gone. That burden is outta here."

Whisnant said Monday the church would regain the deed to the church.