The precious sounds of children’s laughter echoes throughout the hallways. The smell of home cooked food radiates from the kitchen. Smiles are contagious, and are spotted from room to room. Volunteers tend to the ringing phones, and board members pour over the numbers. God’s grace is felt in every corner of this faith-based community center.
Situated in the tiny village
of Mt. Sterling, Ohio, the Mt. Sterling Community was founded on a prayer of local residents (2002). Its birth took place in a humble building situated on the main drag within the village. The sole purpose of its creation was to give the local community members, specifically youth and senior citizens, a safe gathering place with a Christian outlook on life. The Center operated on a shoestring budget, and services such as a food and clothing pantry and youth night quickly proved to become high in demand. Word of mouth and limited advertising led to the rapid growth of the Center, and a need for additional space became quickly apparent.
The Center’s success was a bit shocking to its founders, to say the least. It was obvious that there was definite need, but the growth of the Center was left in question, as the funding was just not there to make it happen. Then, the unthinkable occurred. An anonymous donor read a newspaper article about the Center, and gifted an unbelievable $500,000 towards the construction of a new facility! The generous donation startled this sleepy community of 2000 residents. To most, a donation of this size was just uncomprehending. But the good deeds did not stop there. Surprisingly enough, a second anonymous donor came forward- matching the amount of the first. This raised the grand total to the sum of one million dollars. Center board members were astounded, but quickly began plans for fund raising efforts in order to secure operating expenses for the next 5 years.
Construction began and then progressed quickly. Committees were established to help carry the Center through its transition phase. Volunteers worked additional overtime. Donations from local businesses, residents, and the like aided in additional construction expenses. Formal business plans were put into place, and prayers were answered.
As a result of the efforts of so many caring hearts, the new Mt. Sterling Community Center is currently thriving at Veteran’s Field, which is off of Main Street on the edge of town. It is fully equipped with meeting rooms, a gymnasium, a commercial kitchen, a youth room, and much more. This Center is a true representation of the things that can happen when a community instills faith in Him, and then, works hard in pursuing their dreams without looking back. Good things happen to good people.