All donations are tax deductible as
Times of Refreshing is a 501(c)3 organization.
Donations may also be mailed to:
Times of Refreshing, PO Box 741, Walnut Cove, NC 27052
Of course cash donations can be made in person at 201 East Second Street, Walnut Cove, NC 27052. Someone is there every evening at 7 p.m. for our continued Walnut Cove Refreshing Revival. We would love to have you join us!
WRITE THE VISION
We have an emergency on our hands and need your help. Our deadline for action is Monday, December 19, 2016. Would you mind reading the following “vision” and then asking God how you can assist us? Thank you so much!
In the tiny southern town of Walnut Cove, N.C., there lies a piece of vacant property on Main Street, just as you wind up the hill into downtown. It is the gateway to our village. Once long ago, it was part of the adjoining property that our small ministry now owns. A few years back, we began to feel that we were supposed to purchase the land which was for sale by the Town of Walnut Cove.
So in June of 2016, I wrote the vision of why our 501(c)3 ministry—Times of Refreshing, located at The Well—wanted to buy the gateway property to use for the glory of God and to bless youth in our town. A local restaurant had placed a bid of $30,000. Although the restaurant owners are our dear friends, we had been saving money for the property for a few years and knew we must bid as well.
We feel we should be transparent in everything we do, so I contacted one of the restaurant owners and explained our situation; she graciously understood, and we all remained loving friends. We upset their bid with a bid of $32,000 and knew we could pay that up front—with the $18,000 we had saved and a pledge of $14,000 from an anonymous person.
The restaurant owners did not bid again. We spoke with them just last week, and they are in our corner, hoping we get the property. They said that when God closes a door, it is because He has something better for you; that is what they believe about their situation, and we agree with them!
You would think that was the end of it, right? WRONG! A nearly 84-year-old gentleman began to bid against us. Every time we upset his bid, he would upset ours. Meanwhile, the bid kept edging higher, higher…..
I am friends with this man and love him dearly, so he and I met for breakfast one morning. I told him what we feel God wants to do with that land and how it should be used for His glory, especially to bless our town’s youth. He kindly listened but didn’t comment really. And then…..he kept on bidding.
In the last 10-day upset bid period, we bid $44,444, rather than our nice, normal, rounded-off figure. Biblically, the number “4” represents “earthly completion,” and I really wanted this to be the final bid.
But just tonight (11/22/16) at our annual Walnut Cove Community Thanksgiving service, I was notified that this gentleman had once again upset our bid with a new bid of over $47,000. We have until Monday, 12/19/16, to upset his bid, which would bring the bid to about $50,000. We feel so strongly this land is supposed to be ours that we are willing to sacrifice much in order to obtain it.
We don’t do fundraisers and sometimes even forget to take an offering at our weekly worship services. Nobody gets paid at The Well. We tithe out a minimum of 15% of all donations right back into the community and the world—we believe in missions and blessing those who need our help!
Nonetheless, I am feeling from God to alert the public to our financial need. There are two options for giving straight into our ministry: via mail at P.O. Box 741, Walnut Cove, NC 27052 or through our website at http://www.walnutcoverefreshing.com/online-giving. A third option is to give via our GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/2b3vk4xw. If you choose to donate online, we prefer your giving through PayPal on our website since GoFundMe takes a small percentage of everything donated. But we will be thrilled with any avenue you choose for donation purposes!
When I posted this vision originally in June 2016, over 7,000 people viewed it, and hundreds “Liked” it on Facebook. Many of those same people “Shared” it on their personal page. If all of these people would even contribute a few dollars to our quest to buy this land, we would be able to outbid the other bidder who simply wants it for a business investment for his corporation. And we wouldn’t have to try to get a loan which could hugely burden our small ministry (which is going to grow more and more once we have room to put everybody!).
I don’t like to ask for money, but I feel so sure about this land being ours that I am trusting God to provide the finances here. Won’t you please give even a dollar to help us? Whoever obtains the property will possess the literal gateway to our town. We know it is supposed to be God’s gateway and His property, not the property of a for-profit corporation that is looking only with the eyes of worldly gain.
In case you didn’t read the original vision posted in 2016, here it is once again:
Here is the background….
We have known since we officially moved into The Well in August 2013 that we would eventually need to consider expansion. That was made plain fairly quickly: Due to the fire marshal’s warning about crowd capacity in our smaller meeting room, we had to knock out a wall in the historic old house to make one big room in February 2014. That increased our capacity once more, but even so, there have been times we have had to use the kitchen or adjoining room for our overflow.
We do own a bit of vacant land between The Well and the brick house on the corner of Summit and Second streets, but we believe we are to keep that yard area for our children to enjoy and for events on our outdoor stage. Simply put, we are out of space at our present location.
Here is the vision….
We believe God wants us to erect something in downtown Walnut Cove that will bring glory to Him, and in turn, bless the town we so love. One of our members has already seen a vision of what the structure is supposed to look like—a lovely white edifice that will serve a number of purposes. It will be a place for our community to gather, for young people to come to for good Christian fellowship and recreational purposes, for our church group to meet on Sunday mornings with space for freedom in worship—including more instruments than just a piano. (How we miss our drums and guitars!)
We see green spaces surrounding this building, gardens blooming with flowers, a community garden to help feed the less fortunate, streams bubbling under lovely little bridges, fountains flowing. This will be a place of joy, peace and refreshing where our townspeople can retreat to a sanctuary made beautiful by God’s creation!
I also envision a separate, south-facing, small wing coming off the building. It will not be accessible from the inside of the building, but only from a door on the outside. This special wing will be open 24/7 to serve a twofold purpose: as a visitor’s center and a prayer chapel. The entry room will be a visitor’s center for Walnut Cove and even Stokes County, with literature about local businesses, Hanging Rock, Moratock Park, Dan River tubing, etc. Another room will branch off from that one—a peaceful place of prayer for anyone who wants to steal away to seek the Lord at any time of day.
Inside the main building will be a very large multipurpose room—big enough to host a community gathering, a church service, a play, a concert. Perhaps there will be retractable basketball goals at each end so that kids can play there when a gathering is not in progress. Or perhaps that will be in another big room. There will be a kitchen and dining area that can regularly host a soup kitchen or a community dinner—anything that would bless the people of Walnut Cove as God would have them blessed.
Besides that main gathering room, there will be classrooms for learning, meetings, etc. Other rooms will be set aside for the purposes of preserving the historical legacy of Walnut Cove and Stokes County. When Lois Dodson Smith told me she wanted to give us her historic house (now The Well), I promised her that I would strive to have a Walnut Cove museum and that one of the history rooms would be named after her. I feel that another room should be named after the only man to serve six terms as Mayor of Walnut Cove, the man who helped bring our struggling Town out of the red and onto a firm financial foundation—Jack Gentry.
I have also long dreamed of a Stokes County Sports Hall of Fame; the idea was put into my heart by former Stokes County Sheriff Mike Joyce. How many times he and I discussed this shared dream of ours! Unfortunately, Mike passed away from leukemia before we could proceed with plans. One room in our envisioned structure could house this local sports museum—named after Sheriff Joyce.
Yes, all of these things could be placed under one roof as a central gathering place to celebrate our legacies of history and our community unity. But the most important thing of all is that it will be a place that will glorify God—a place of refreshing, joy, peace and love.
Where will we build such a place? Our goal since early 2013 (yes, even before we officially moved into The Well) has been to expand to the land right beside us—the old Dodson Hotel property. It was once part of the land parcel on which The Well now stands. Lois Dodson Smith’s father, Wesley G. Dodson, built the Dodson Hotel in 1912. When he passed away years later, his widow eventually sold the hotel, but she and her children—Lois being the elder—kept the white house right behind it as their home. Our ministry—not an individual—is blessed to own that house now under the umbrella of our 501(c)3 nonprofit, Times of Refreshing (on the Old Paths).
As soon as it was announced early in 2013 that the hotel would be torn down, a very spiritual lady came to me and said she felt that property would be ours one day. Even though I knew our two land parcels had originally been unified and even though I knew how special that hotel lot always was to our beloved Lois, I put the idea of owning it on the shelf to ponder and pray about…..
…..and then came more people, saying the same thing—people who don’t even attend The Well, people who just “out of the blue” came to me and said, “You need to pray about getting that land. God has plans for you there.” When I began to get confirmations from so many various people who had no connections to each other, I realized they were onto something—perhaps a master plan of God.
But I had no idea how He was going to do it. For the first two years at The Well, we never even took an offering or asked for money. We just trusted God to send what was needed to pay the bills for power, gas, Internet, insurance, maintenance, renovation/restoration, and supplies. And He did…..every time. We have never struggled to make ends meet there.
We believe the key to this blessing is that we tithe out at least 15% of what comes into The Well—to community missions primarily and, to a lesser degree, foreign missions. We believe that our money must flow out to bless the community in a steady stream, and that as it does, more money will come in—an ever-flowing stream with no room for stagnation.
Although I quit my job as editor of The Stokes News to minister at The Well full-time, no one gets paid there. There may come a day that a salary is part of the picture, but that day is not now. God meets my family’s needs in other beautiful ways. For now, the money that comes into The Well will first be tithed to the Lord for missions then used to pay bills, renovate and eventually expand into a larger space.
We believe that larger space sits next door to us—the gateway property, formerly known as the old Dodson Hotel property.
We realize and understand that Town officials have a job to do to make sure the Town’s revenue stream is sufficient. Therefore, it is logical that they would want a business on the old hotel property. But our God does not operate by man’s logic and wisdom. The wisdom that comes from above is far superior to what we humans can comprehend.
His Word says that when we put first His kingdom, everything else that is needed will be provided. It is not ours to ask how; we simply trust and obey. A Town that will bless its youth, a Town that desires to meet the needs of its citizens, a Town that will glorify God—this is a Town that will reap multitudes of His blessings.
I don’t know all the details of what God wants to do on that gateway property. But this one thing I know: As the gateway to our Town, it is to be used to bring glory to God in some way. The city technically begins farther out, but most people see the winding hill just past the Town Fork Bridge as the point when you officially enter downtown. For many years, the grandiose Dodson Hotel and the majestic Mercantile building on the opposite side of the street acted as the guardians of the gateway of Walnut Cove.
Now the historic hotel is gone, and the old Mercantile building is crumbling. It is time to move into the future with a new gateway to our Town. I have prayed since 1996 for a change in Walnut Cove, and it is time to see the fruit of these 20 years of prayer. A successful physical transformation can only be accomplished when the spiritual foundation has been laid. That is the proper order.
What do you want to be the first thing visitors to our Town see there at the gateway? I want it to be a beautiful structure and grounds with a visitor’s center to say, “We welcome you!” and a prayer chapel to say, “We put first things first.”
I was told by former Walnut Cove Town Manager Monty Stevens that local leaders had indeed discussed having such a welcome center on the old hotel lot, perhaps even in the old train depot that sits abandoned and could be moved to the property. I told him back then that we would be glad to run that for the Town.
Even before Monty’s tenure, former Town Manager Byron Ellis contacted me personally to say he was pondering having a lovely green space there on the hotel lot, perhaps even a community garden for the less fortunate; he asked if our ministry would be interested in helping maintain that. I told him we would be glad to. Nothing ever came of these leaders’ visions for the Town, but we at The Well did not forget.
I realize not everybody from Walnut Cove who reads this will care about the things of God in Walnut Cove. But I believe something we can all agree on is that Walnut Cove needs a communal gathering place, especially a place where our youth can come to have something worthwhile to do. I have written numerous columns for The Stokes News about this pressing need. My heart is to bless the children, just as Jesus did when He told the disciples to let the little children come to Him. He was more concerned with blessing the children than worrying about adult concerns at that time. I remain convinced that if you bless the children in the Kingdom of God, YOU will be blessed in return; that formula will work for the Town of Walnut Cove, too.
Many of you who read this will not even be from Walnut Cove. I can only ask you to help us because you obviously have a heart for God’s work on this earth. We are convinced Walnut Cove has been predestined as one of the hubs of a major endgame revival; you will be blessed as you play a role in helping that come to pass—no matter where you live!
One prayer night at The Well in March 2016, there were four of us ladies sitting in the darkened prayer chamber. As I prayed for God’s will about the land next door, I heard God say, “Ezra 2.” Imagine my dismay when I grabbed a Bible to read that chapter by the little light of my phone, only to find that it was verse after verse of genealogy! I began to question if I had indeed heard the Lord…..
…..until verse 68: “When they arrived at the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, some of the heads of the families gave freewill offerings toward the rebuilding of the house of God on its site.” I knew then He was telling me that just as He brought His chosen people out of a degrading exile back to Jerusalem to build what would glorify Him, He was doing the same in Walnut Cove.
I suddenly knew exactly what to do! I showed the other ladies what God had shown me and told them we were to start a freewill building fund that very night. You should have seen us scrambling to see what we could give! I dumped out the contents of my purse to give all I could find—four $1 bills. Another lady had brought $10 when she arrived earlier—not even knowing why, just wanting to give, even when no offering was being taken! My daughter Chelsea had been given a $20 tip on a recent job, and after spending $3 for tacos, she had set aside the remaining $17 for a special purpose. After Ezra 2, she knew this was the special purpose, and she gave it all. Another lady only had a dime in her pocket, but she gave it with all of her heart—like the widow’s mite.
I took off running to another room where I started looking through old boxes and shelves to find something to put the money into. I found a small box that looks like a treasure chest; I do not know where it came from. Each of us cast our offering into the little treasure chest; when we were done, the grand total was $31.10. It wasn’t much, but we had given all we had.
That little chest now sits on the mantel in our meeting room when we gather for services at The Well—right beside a little picture that says “Believe.” One Friday night, June 17, my children and I felt to open it and count the money then pray over it. Somehow, the box now held $225.40! Evidently people have been quietly putting money into it.
We believe…..that we are going to be blessed of God to build a place where people of all races, all economic standings and all ages can come together to enjoy beauty, peace, joy and the love of God.
And we ask you to join with us. Trust me when I say that “If we build it, He will come.” He will come to a city that puts Him first, a city whose gates are full of His praise. We want Walnut Cove to be a place such as is prophesied in Isaiah 60:
“Your gates will always stand open,
they will never be shut, day or night. . .
all who despise you will bow down at your feet
and will call you the City of the Lord. . .
Although you have been forsaken and hated,
with no one traveling through,
I will make you the everlasting pride
and the joy of all generations.
I will make peace your governor
and well-being your ruler.
No longer will violence be heard in your land,
nor ruin or destruction within your borders,
but you will call your walls Salvation
and your gates Praise. . .”
Thank you for your financial help and your prayers. We would love it if you would share this vision on your Facebook page or any other way you can.