Ministry on the Margins at Culpeper Community

As I was reflecting today, it is difficult to believe a year has gone by since Vanda and I, my daughter Vanessa, her husband Anthony, along with Nate and Joshua (our two grandsons), pulled into the parking lot of Miracle Tabernacle Church of God in Culpeper. I was taken aback by how beautiful the church property is.

Culpeper Community Church

We had visited this church previously and I remember thinking what a great location for a church. We are located on a beautiful two acre lot on a knoll at the intersection of Highway 522 and Gipson Mill Road. The grounds included a small house that doubled as a part-time parsonage/fellowship hall. The church building was a small rock building, the sanctuary was 20’ x 40’ with small bathrooms opening directly into the sanctuary.

Our first Sunday, we had 14 in attendance, of which 6 were family. Weekly church services were Sunday School and Morning Worship only. We began to cast the vision before the church of ministering to the community. 

Attendance was up and down as former attendees of the church came to check us out. We ministered love and responsibility, repentance and renewal, holiness and care, and compassion through the Word and action. We used Acts 1:8 as our foundation. 

Welcoming and loving are two words I would use to describe our congregation.
Worshipping God with them and ministering to them has been a great blessing.

When we arrived, we immediately looked for ways to improve the facility. We found several necessary improvements were needed. The entrance had issues and the bathrooms needed expansion. I prayed for guidance on how to approach these needs, and the unshakeable feeling that the name of the church should be changed. I don’t mind telling you, I was a bit overwhelmed. 

God gave us peace to begin approaching the congregation with solutions to these needs. Within the first month, the congregation agreed to: change the church name to Culpeper Community Church of God, to extend and expand the restrooms by using existing office space, as well as relocate the restroom entrance out of the sanctuary and reverse the layout of the sanctuary.

As we worked through these projects, new ideas and opportunities were revealed. We changed the church entrance to the back of the building, necessitating a new walkway and parking area. Wiring issues and failure in the structural integrity of the sanctuary ceiling were also discovered requiring its replacement and repairs to the walls. To complete the renovation, the windows and carpet were also replaced. 

Through it all, there was no murmuring or complaining, we loved God and loved one another.

These projects were completed by the grace of God and His placement of godly men and women from areas of county authority to all areas of expertise who helped guide and assist us along the way. Finally, on July 16, 2019, the work was completed, just ten months after receiving the required permits. Many workers would accept little or no payment other than, “May God bless the work, that His will be done here.” (Paraphrasing)

Sunday morning attendance has increased to an average of 25. We reinstated Wednesday night Bible Study on July 3 of this year, and are averaging 12 in attendance. 

God has shown His faithfulness in so many ways, not the least of which is church finances. Upon completion of the projects outlined above, our account balance is only $2,000 less than the net cash on hand at the beginning of the renovations! 

The next phase in our vision is to erect a pavilion with restrooms and a serving area that will allow us to serve the community, and allow Culpeper Community Church of God to fulfill its stated mission to “Impact our Community for Christ”. (Psalm 127:10)

Pastor Dan Edwards
Culpeper Community Church of God