In the year of our Lord, 1975 after having prayed the previous years as to what Christ would have my wife, daughter, and me do with our lives in His service, an answer came through a phone call from Rev. J.D. Eddins, my former pastor. In our conversation he asked if I would be in my office. He wanted to come talk with me.
I hung up the phone and went to get a drink of water. That is when the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said, “ he is coming to ask you to help him and I want you to help him.”
Rev. Eddins came to my office and said he was going into evangelism work at Roger’s Bay Campground in Surf City, NC. On Saturdays, he and I, and our families passed out Christian tracts, witnessed, and invited campers to Sunday worship services.
Later into the ministry, Rev. Eddins heard of a new campground being developed by D.C. Lanier and family. At that time there were only about four or five mobile units in the campground.
After meeting and talking with Mr. Lanier he agreed to let me set up services for 9:30 Easter through Labor Day. The first worship service was held in the campground office building in front of the fireplace. In attendance were Reverend Don Myers, Elizabeth Myers, Nicole Myers, and a mother and her little girl (we do not know their names). My wife, Elizabeth, commented that I preached like there were 10,000 people present. She also asked,”Are you sure you are supposed to be here with only four people in the congregation and two of those are you family?” I replied, “Yes I am”.
As Lanier’s Campground grew we passed out tracts and invited people to attend Sunday Services. The pool/recreation section of the campground was later added to the office building. The attendance grew and we started holding services in the recreation area.
Although we were members of a denominational church I was ordained and licensed through an interdenominational organization. We felt in the very beginning that the Lord would have us keep the service interdenominational, casual dress, scripturally sound, and simply presented.
After Easter services 1995, D.C. and Wilma Lanier told Elizabeth and myself about a vacant lot they were donating to build a church building. When the news was announced in church services the Lord already had in place, the necessary people to donate, construct, and plan the building.
The people who have been involved in this ministry and building project are too numerous to mention, but all were greatly appreciated. We give credit to Christ the Lord for having put this ministry and church together. It has been an amazing journey and sweet fellowship, lovely memories, and miracles that our Lord had granted unto us and to you. Our dear Christian friends, along the way, you have become to us an extended family for which we are thankful.
I earned my living as a poultry farmer, but after accepting Christ as my Savior I always felt the urge to preach. As the new building has arisen from prayer, faith, hope, patience, and dreams, I see the answer of that prayer of so long ago when I asked the Lord “What would you have me to do?” It is still being answered.
At Chapel By The Bay dreams are still being fulfilled through prayer, faith, hope, and patience. The Manse was completed midyear 1999. The first candle lighting service was held in the new fellowship hall on December 4, 1999. It was not quite finished but it felt good to be standing there with our burning candles anticipating the New Year and new millennium, 2000. God has really blessed us at Chapel By The Bay and I know he will continue to bless us in the years to come.
Pastor: 1975- April 2019