Refuge Apostolic Church, Thayer, MO

Refuge Apostolic Church pastored by Reverend Clay Risner in Thayer, Missouri celebrated the dedication of their brand new building this summer, built with the help of a loan through the United Pentecostal Church Loan Fund.  Scroll down the page for photos of the project from start to finish, and read the full story of Refuge as written by Pastor Risner:


Pastor Clay & Sister Heather Risner

Refuge's Testimony

         The United Pentecostal Church in Thayer, MO was established in 1966 and shortly thereafter purchased the Woodside Memorial Methodist Church located at the corner of 3rd and Market Street.  The building has faithfully served as the house of God through 48 years and 9 pastors.  But in 2012, through the direction and vision of myself, Pastor Clay Risner, Refuge Apostolic Church began to dream, plan, and budget for a new sanctuary for Thayer. 

          After saving and planning for a year, I approached the UPC Loan Fund director, Bro Steven Drury, about  the possibility of obtaining financial assistance from the Loan Fund for the purpose of building a new sanctuary.  Bro Drury was more than excited for the opportunity to assist in building and furthering the Kingdom of God with this project.  Upon completion of the underwriting process under the superb oversight of Bro Bryan Barton, the loan was approved.

          Due to the financial status and income in the years prior to me being voted in as pastor in 2011, the loan amount was only going to cover the costs of the materials needed to construct the desired building.  Bro Risner and the congregation were preparing to do the work themselves and planning on spending the year of 2014 to complete the construction.  But due to the encouragement and support of Missouri District Secretary Bro Bryan Parkey (and former Presbyter of Thayer in Section 5), Missouri North American Missions Director Bro James Sample, who also directs the Church In A Day (CIAD) projects in Missouri, was contacted about helping build the sanctuary in Thayer.  Bro Sample was excited about the opportunity to have CIAD come and  help in Thayer.

          On April 3-5,  2014, brothers and sisters from across Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas came to Thayer to construct a sanctuary for to reach lost souls.  Truly this was a group effort, but it came together under the coordinating efforts of Bro Sample, Construction Superintendent Bro Bob Thornton, and the other members of the CIAD committee.   Indeed this was a building built by the Kingdom, for the Kingdom!  A special thanks to Missouri District Superintendent Scott Graham and District Secretary Bryan Parkey for coming and helping with the construction.  What an impact CIAD has had on our congregation and community.  People are still talking about how quick our sanctuary was erected and how everyone worked so well together.

          I would encourage any and all Pastors and congregations who are considering building, expanding or remodeling to contact the UPC Loan Fund.  This is a perfect example of how Paul describes the church as being the body of Christ.  Different members making up one body.  We are of the same body so let the body help you in your construction needs by contacting members of that body, the UPC Loan Fund!

         -Pastor Clay Risner





Empty lot next to existing church, site of addition


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Laying the foundation



 Building the frame


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Finished exterior of the new building

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 Finished interior of the new building                                                                                                                                                                                  


Dedication Service June 2014


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