Cana of Galilee Building Program by Eileen Gunnells
In 2009, my husband Andy Gunnells and I accepted the pastorate at
Cana of Galilee IPHC. We began our ministry the first Sunday of
August of 2009. We had 10 people there that day including us. But
though the number was small there was such a mighty spirit of God
there. We knew we were right where we needed to be. It wasn't but
just a few weeks and we began having visitors week after week who
became members and the church continued to grow.
The church was debt free, with around 10,000 in treasury. We had a
parsonage that needed to be completely remodeled. We had a small
fellowship hall that would comfortably sit about 30 people and that
was pushing it. But we were growing in spirit, in unity, in
membership and financially God was blessing us greatly. We can't
explain all that has taken place in Cana but I can tell you it is
nothing short of many miracles.
We had a young man, who had been a terrible alcoholic his entire
adult life. He got the devastating news that he had cancer, with
only a few months to live. Because of the alcohol addiction, the
doctor said they could not begin chemo and he would die before he
had time to dry out. He came to church broken, knowing there was no
hope for him. But God had other plans. As he knelt at the altar and
asked forgiveness, God gloriously saved but and set him free
instantly from alcohol. When he went back to the doctor, he was
amazed and the young man told him God had delivered him. He was able
to receive the chemo and I am happy to report he is totally CANCER
FREE. To God be the glory, great things he has done.
Another man that had come from a very traditional church, was
diagnosed with cancer of the neck. He was scheduled to go back to
the doctor to find out what kind of treatment he would receive be it
chemo or radiation. He came up for prayer one Sunday and asked us to
anoint him and lay hands on him. This was a Giant step for a man who
had never believed in doing this. But this day changed his life. As
we gathered around him he began to cry and said Lord I Believe you
are healing me. He said there was something like an electrical shock
that ran through his body. Well when he went back to get the results
and treatment schedule, the doctor said he had NO CANCER in his
body! Hallelujah, to God be the Glory.
He said I came to this church the first time by invitation.
(Remember he was very traditional, and had really come to check out
this woman preacher he had heard about but did not believe in).He
said he came back because he was drawn by the Holy Spirit. He is now
one of our Elders, and serves as our Adult Sunday School Teacher. He
is very supportive of our ministry here at Cana, and says he was
wrong to have ever believed a woman could not preach. Hallelujah, to
God be the Glory.
In 2012 we began a building fund drive. We wanted to start out with
a goal of 10,000. Because of our growth, we had outgrown the
fellowship hall and desperately needed a place to fellowship and to
use for classrooms. But we had little money in the building fund,
and a pastor who had no knowledge of how to go about beginning a
building program. All I could do was be honest and tell the church
this was totally out of my league, but we could pray and trust God
to bring it all together. So we began planning what we hoped to do
in this building program.
We agreed we needed a new fellowship hall, a new roof on the church,
and a storage room. We were using two of our class rooms as storage
rooms, but now that the church had grown, we needed more classes.
But like I said, we had no money to do any of these projects. We
contacted a contractor, he came out, and we began to make plans. Our
building fund was slowly increasing, and we were getting close to
the 10,000 but we knew that wasn't enough to complete any of these
jobs. Someone asked me what we would do when we reached 10,000. I
told them we would just keep giving and when the timing was right we
would know. Sure enough, we heard from God, and the funds began
The contractor we were working with fell through, but God had a
spirit filled Christian contractor who went above and beyond to help
our church. He made a bid on the job and we needed 55,000-60,000 to
complete the new fellowship hall. By faith, we gave him the go
ahead. We watched as God kept blessing and blessing and the funds
kept coming in. Two families were blessed which resulted in two
10,000 donations to the building fund. All we could say was WOW. The
donations kept coming 3000.00 here 2000.00 there. We could not
believe our eyes. We never had one fundraiser, we never borrowed any
money. We just heard from God that it was time, and in unity
everyone obeyed God and gave as he prompted them.
We made some adjustments to the contract by adding different
flooring, changing the roof from shingles to tin roof, central heat
& air, etc. This meant more money. But guess what! When it was all
said and done, we had accumulated a bill of 86000.00 dollars. And
every penny was paid in full at the completion of the building.
We immediately began saving again for a new tin roof for our church
and some other upgrades. We needed 15000.00 and guess what, we
already have the money and we are just waiting for our contractor to
begin. Little is much when God is in it!!!! I can say like the Bible
says. "The people had a mind to work".
We are so thankful and we give all glory to God. Our church
continues to grow and we are seeing lives changed by the power of
Almighty God. Because of our growth, we have run out of parking
space. There was an empty lot beside the fellowship hall, and we had
approached the owners but they said they did not want to sell. We
kept praying for God to provide and we claimed that land for the
glory of God. They rented the land to someone else, and a mobile
home was set up on the land. But we never stopped praying. Some
began anointing the land, and claiming it for the kingdom of God.
Before long the mobile home was gone. 3 weeks ago we contacted the
owners again and they said they would lease the land to the church.
Praise God we signed the lease last week for two years, and we are
believing that we will receive the land and the family who owns it
for the kingdom of God.
Never say never. If God says you can have it you can have it. If
everyone would attend church at the same time we would run around
75-80. But like all churches, it seems everyone is not always there.
Our attendance is around 50, and we hear the footsteps of the
harvest that is coming. We took a walk through the Cana community
last week, and anointed the community and prayed over all the homes
and claimed them for the kingdom of God. We pray they will come and
be a part of our church, but the most important thing is that they
are saved and attend a Bible Believing Church somewhere. After all,
we are building the Kingdom of God! And for everything we say PRAISE
Pastor Eileen Gunnells Cana of Galilee IPHC 1738 Hudson Road
Cope S.C. 29038