UPDATED: JANUARY 2017
Update from Crossroads UPC
"We are moving in! January 1, 2017 was our first service in the new building. We are making a symbolic fresh start to a new year in a new environment. Already the presence and power of the Almighty God can be felt when walking through the sanctuary. It is an exciting time at Crossroads UPC in Poplarville, MS!
Many blessings, spiritual and financial, have been received throughout this building process. Several mighty men and women of God have stopped by to pray with us and give words of encouragement. We were told by the children of one former pastor, Reverend Gordon Brock, that he had received prophecy many years ago that a church would be built on top of the hill where our new building stands. It is overwhelming to realize that we are walking in prophecy without even being aware of it. We would like to acknowledge the many years of hard work and prayers by those who have gone before us and sowed the seeds of faith in this community. Now is the time for a great harvest, and thanks to the dedication of the saints, prayer, and the financial support of the Loan Fund and others, we feel well-equipped to move forward. Many lives will be changed and enriched by our great Savior in this awesome facility. Once again, thanks to the leadership of the UPCI Loan Fund for having faith in us and helping to make our vision a reality. We would also like to recognize the assistance received from Church in a Day, Louisiana District, under the guidance of Reverend Brian Montgomery. Mere words cannot express our gratitude!"
-Pastor & Sister Kirk Hoelzel
Crossroads United Pentecostal Church was established in 1950 in the community of Crossroads, MS. It is a rural community, not a city or town, located twenty miles outside of Poplarville, MS. The church had gone through many periods of hardship when Pastor Kirk Hoelzel came on in 2010. There were approximately ten members at the time. The church then began to experience steady growth. After three years they had grown to around forty, and after four years they had around sixty members. During the past year, they have grown even more and now the average attendance is ninety, with several Sundays over one hundred in attendance. Pastor Hoelzel continues the story below.
"Although the original building has been remodeled many times and Sunday School rooms and a kitchen area added to the back, the entire building is only approximately 3200 square feet. The sanctuary is 1392 square feet and cannot hold more than 100 comfortably. Shouting room is vertical only. We were definitely in need for a larger space.
God began to open doors of opportunity for us. We were able to purchase 3.5 acres of neighboring property without borrowing money due to a large donation from a church family and some church savings. The property was wooded and had an older house which needed to be torn down. God once again stepped in, and Pearl River Community College in Poplarville offered to do the work on the property with their Construction Equipment Operations class. The dirt required for the slab was acquired from an embankment on the property near the highway, which needed to be leveled for safety reasons. We petitioned Mississippi Department of Transportation for the dirt and had to pay only $1/yard for the dirt. This was later reimbursed to us by our state representative. Total savings for the dirt and site preparations were over $100,000. Church in a Day then offered to help us once our building is erected, which will result in even more savings for the church.
So plans for our new church were drawn. It would be 12,120 square feet under roof, almost 4 times bigger than our old building. We included a large fellowship hall with a kitchen, more Sunday School rooms, and even a large back porch for events such as our annual Crawfish Boil, Wildlife Extravaganza, and Fall Festival.
When we began to seek loan options, we ran into an unexpected problem. Banks like to see five years of financial history for a church loan. Our church could not show five years of consistent attendance and offerings due to beginning with such a low number in attendance. We also could not wait five years to build a larger facility.
Thankfully the UPC Loan Fund was available to us. The process of acquiring the needed funds has been less strenuous than at our local banks. The Church Loan Fund understands church growth and did not require a lengthy history, but rather is willing to accept us where we are now and believes with us for even greater revival in Crossroads. Over sixty people have been baptized in the name of Jesus and several of them have received the Holy Ghost! We are expecting God to do even greater things in the future of Crossroads UPC! To God be the glory!"