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United Church of God dedicates new building
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Members of the United Church of God
dedicate and move into their new dwelling in Big Sandy

BIG SANDY, Texas—Local United Church of God members and visitors packed the house the Sabbath of Jan. 19, 2008, for the formal dedication of the UCG’s new building here.

More than 300 people gathered in the new facility, which sits on 10 acres at 1007 N. Tyler St. (Texas Highway 155 North), to hear sermons from visiting ministers Roy Holladay and Clyde Kilough.

However, Mr. Holladay canceled his trip from Ohio to Big Sandy at the last minute because of the death of a close friend, UCG elder Bill Winner of Birmingham, Ala.

Speaking at the dedication service were pastor Ken Treybig, making announcements and introducing the special music, and Mr. Kilough.

Planning and building

Mr. Treybig credited UCG member Morris Foster of Gladewater, Texas, for donating his service as the building project’s manager over the seven years since the church-member meeting, in 2001, that began the planning and building process.

The official groundbreaking for the one-story 12,750-square-foot metal structure was a little more than three years ago, on Nov. 11, 2004.

Building fund

The congregation, known officially as the United Church of God East Texas, raised $225,000 for a building fund, with the home office of the United Church of God an International Association, in Milford, Ohio, contributing an additional $50,000. The total cost of the facility is about $586,000.

The deed to the building is held locally, with plans to turn it over to the parent organization when the $165,000 note at a local bank is retired, perhaps 20 years from now.

Memory lane

Mr. Kilough, in his sermon, embarked on a trip down memory lane, speaking nostalgically about his days at Ambassador College, Big Sandy, only about three miles from where he was standing and speaking.

He drew analogies between the buildings on campus and the new UCG meeting place.

“When we say words like, boy, I love Big Sandy, it’s not so much the buildings,” he said, “but it’s the association of what happened and who it happened with in those buildings.”

Likewise, memories are already taking shape in the brethren’s minds linked with the new facility.

The people

Still, he said, the buildings ultimately are of little importance compared with the people who put them to use.

“The value of what takes place here will be in the hearts and minds of God’s people. If we are clothed in righteousness, then this building will be looked upon in years to come with fond memories” as a tool “for a greater purpose: the unifying of hearts and minds.

“It will serve as a family home for the church family, where spiritual fathers and mothers and brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles will come here to teach and to learn and to serve and to work together and to supply what every part should supply for the edifying of the Body of Christ.”

“We are the temple of God,” Mr. Kilough concluded.

“Let us be dedicated, personally and collectively, to be the temple of God.

“And, if we are, this building will serve us well.”

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