The term “God’s country” perfectly describes the nine acres on Farm-to-Market 2410, about two-miles east of Harker Heights High School.
It’s easy to miss speeding by, but the pristine, hilly green land that sits beneath the shade of huge oak trees speaks for the beauty of this Texas countryside.
Only the sign and small white cross above the main gate lets drivers know the land is destined for something special — the future home of the Harker Heights United Methodist Church.
On Oct. 1, Dr. Jannette Miller, senior pastor, and a handful of church members gathered under the cool comfort of those mighty oaks to pray, speak, but above all, to listen to what God said to them about the direction of their church.
Miller started the prayer with scripture from 1 Samuel 3:10, “Speak, your servant is listening,” she said and then added, “the Lord is about to do something through us that will set this community a buzz.”
Previously, church member Mark Edwards bought 15 acres and sold nine acres to the church three years ago for $200,000. “The church wanted to find a good spot with more space, and I was glad to help out,” said Edwards.
A 1,800 square-foot metal building, once an automotive shop, sits near the gate. Edwards spent 15 months removing junk parts from it and the land “The building could be a fellowship hall, and we’re already had a few services here,” he said.
After the prayer, Miller invited all who could to walk up the hill to the large, white cross to get a better view.
Hiking along the rocky trail was Joyce Mayer, a church member since 1980. She admitted that she had reservations about the new location because she didn’t feel the church had fulfilled its duty in town. “But after a lot of prayer, I realized the main objective was to get us out into the growth area to reach people who no longer attend church,” she said.
At the top, the group rested at the base of the white, steel cross, about 16 feet high and 12 feet wide. It was a labor of love for Maria and JT Haun, who installed it about a year ago, along with local vendors that donated some materials. “It’s a great idea to use this land to get our youth excited about being in church,” Maria Haun said.
The visit to the site helped start the process to develop a plan and a timeline, and so far the church has paid 75 percent of the $200,000. This will be a multi-phased approach, and not a smooth, easy one, Miller said. “We want to be good stewards of our finances and with the call from God of the work we have to do.”
Looking out at the country side below, Bob Paine reflected on the possibilities ahead. “This great view speaks of what we can do with this land given time and opportunities.”