TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Lanes Chapel built its current church building in around 2008 but with construction came a hefty loan.
“For the first time in you know 16 years, Lanes Chapel is debt free,” said Jeff Gage, Senior Pastor at Lanes Chapel.
Several weeks ago Gage received a huge surprise.
“Recently, a family stepped forward and blessed us with a tremendous gift to finish off our loan payment,” said Gage.
That family donated $1.2 million to finish paying off their mortgage payments.
“And it’s not just that family who gave the large gift, every saint who has come along to give the smallest amount,” said Gage.
The director of finance at Lanes Chapel, Scott Garner, said this was a huge blessing because it hasn’t always been easy for the church.
“A lot of years where it was tight, extremely tight, and we spent a lot of late hours and late nights toward the end of the year wondering if we’re going to make it to the end of the year,” said Garner.
So when Gage called him with the news, all they could do was sit in silence.
“He said, you’re not going to believe it, but he said, we have a family that wants to pay the church off,” said Garner.
Both men wanted to do something to celebrate and came up with a mortgage-burning ceremony.
“To do that is a physical reminder, it’s something that we can see as we watched it go up in flames, we knew ok the debt is gone,” said Gage.
The congregation sang and cheered as copies of the loan became ashes. Gage and Garner say they give all glory to god for this amazing blessing.
“Thank God for what he had done, because we knew where it came from, even though a family gave it, we knew it was all, you know, initiated by God,” said Garner.
Gage said the mortgage payment was about one-third of their budget and they will now be looking into ways to use that little bit of extra money towards ministry and what they can do for the kingdom of God.