Sunday, March 15, 2009

God Gave Mr. Chandler a Vision

While a group of folks can be credited with organizing FBCLS in 1946, one man, Loy T. Chandler, Sr., received a vision from God of a beautiful church in Lithia Springs. God inspired Mr. Chandler and he in turn carried the message to his friends and family.

During a Homecoming service in 1980 Mrs. Chandler spoke about the day Mr. Chandler received his vision from God. The following is the text of her speech:

Mrs. Leavell asked me to say a few words about what I could remember about the beginning of our church. So I began to think back and, oh I had so many wonderful thoughts, I didn’t know exactly where to start. So I decided to start at the very beginning—this is not in the minutes.

This church is Mr. Chandler’s dream—vision. We came in from church, Union Grove. I got dinner on the table and went to call Mr. Chandler to the table, and he was sitting in his chair, and not paying any attention to me at all.

In a few minutes he got up and said, “Let the children go ahead and eat. I want you and me to go over to Mrs. Copeland’s and call Cora, Ed, Ike, and Vassie. The Lord spoke to me in my dream and showed me the most beautiful church.” And everyone I called to meet with us after we had a prayer meeting agreed we did need a church, so everyone was of one mind and one accord, and a mind to work and work we did.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do about leaving Union Grove Church. I had so many irons in the fire. At that time I was B.Y.P.U. Director, President of Women’s Missionary Society, and taught the young people and Intermediates together—it was a one-room church at that time.
So Mr. Chandler said, “I understand how you feel and you do what the Lord wants you to do.” I don’t think I have ever prayed as hard and sincere in my life, and I assure you, the Lord answers prayer in His own way. I was sitting at my desk reading and praying, and a white church appeared to me so bright, I couldn’t look at it, I had to close my eyes. I said, ‘Thank you, Lord, for showing me the way.’ I had no trouble asking for my letter.

I went to Mr. Chandler and told him I was ready to go to work with him. We went to the Home Mission Board and spent the day with Mr. Steel. He said, “It is a wonderful thing you are doing, but unless you are able to take criticism and hard blows, you better not start.” Before we left, he said, “I know you are sincere and I will help you with anything I can.”

Mr. Chandler said the first church,
the one that burned, was just like the one in his dream.
But with all the hard work and sacrifice, it would not have been what it is today except God gave us three fine men of God. Our preachers, Brother Patterson, who really led us in a wonderful way, I don’t know what we would have done without him. Then Dr. Beaver, he wasn’t a “Dr.” then, he was just Marion and we loved him so much and still do. And Brother Whitmire, who is now leading us in a marvelous way and our church is still growing under his leadership. We praise the Lord for sending him to us. I think I can speak for all, that we all love you, and wish many happy years with us.