“I would like to talk with you concerning the contract for another building.”
These words I spoke to Mr. R. D. Estes upon the completion of a new auditorium for a pastorate in Texas. The building had not yet been dedicated, and I was handing him the final check when I made the aforementioned statement. He was somewhat startled. He realized that our church had gone in debt to construct the auditorium and was amazed that we would be interested in a contract for another building so soon.
“Where will this new building be built?” he asked.
“Oh,” I replied, “it has already been built.” Then I proceeded to tell this 65-year-old contractor of the building not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. He was a very strict businessman of the old school, so with little emotion, he heard the story of Heaven and the contract that Christ had already made and purchased with His own blood. At the conclusion of hearing the old, old story, Mr. Estes knelt to pray; and with a substantial check of final payment in hand he prayed the sinner’s prayer and received the Saviour.
The next Sunday we dedicated the new building that he had built.
He was the first convert to walk the aisle in the new structure and was baptized in the first baptismal service. “I built the building and then got a building from this job,” were the words of this well-to-do contractor as he left the service on Dedication Day.
While preaching in Texas recently I had the blessed joy of seeing this contractor come to the services and was pleased to find out he is still attending God’s House, hearing God’s men preach.