by: Dave Faherty Updated:MORGANTON, N.C. —
Members of a Morganton church are calling an anonymous donor who saved it from foreclosure a miracle and a gift from God.
The church owed $345,000 to the bank and could not come up with the money. A lot of the members said they had given up hope of saving the church.
On Thursday, as members of Grandview Baptist Church moved the last items out of their sanctuary, a man pulled into the parking lot with good news.
The man offered to pay off the bank.
Pastor John Whisnant said the man, who he had never met, started asking questions.
“He basically asked ‘What would it take to satisfy the bank?’ and he said, ‘I want to take care of it for you’ and he did,” Whisnant said.
Whisnant told the man the church owed $345,000. The church borrowed that money to build a family life center and then the economy weakened, making it impossible for the church to pay.
The attorney handling the foreclosure confirmed on Friday that he had received a check for 10 percent of what was owed. He said the rest of the money would be paid on Monday.
Whisnant said the man did not want to be identified, but added he is a successful businessman. It’s a moment Whisnant said he will never forget.
“I lost it. I was very emotional at the time. He is just a wonderful, wonderful, generous fellow who wanted to do something great in our community -- and he did,” Whisnant said.
Now church members are carrying things back into the church and planning on a service this Sunday.
"I shouldn't be surprised when you ask the Lord for a miracle and he sends it. You really shouldn't be surprised, but it is a bona fide miracle of epic proportions," he said.
Whisnant said the church will be debt-free after Monday, giving the members the ability to refocus on reaching out to the community.