State Theatre Closing? PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 07 July 2012 12:07

Dear Friends,

It has been a while since I have blogged about all that is going on with the State Theatre.  We have run into several road blocks and not sure exactly what God is trying to show us.  I firmly believe that we have acted in obedience up to this point.  I know that God is a God of miracles and is always stretching us to believe that He can overcome any obstacle before us.  We have some huge obstacles.

We are grateful for those who have stepped out in faith with us in the purchase of the building.  We believe that God will honor those pledges and that the people who have made those pledges will come through.

We are supposed to close on the State on Tuesday, July 10th .  The closing is contingent upon our finding the finances for the renovations.  We have asked the bank to extend us a line of credit up to the appraisal cost of $518,000.  Since we were purchasing at $350,000 and were paying $100,000 down, this would leave the equity at a little over $250,000.  The bank was unable to do this because the property had been in foreclosure.

The most they can lend is $350,000.  They are open to lending us back the $100,000 that we pay down.  They have asked that we obtain guarantors for the money they loan us.  That means we have to get 2 people to step out in faith and basically co-sign for the renovation money.

Our campaign on “Renovate the State” has started. We have paid a down payment on the chairs and they have started the refurbishing process on them.  We have been able to raise enough funds to pay for the new Architectural drawing ($7,500) and the Engineering drawings ($11,000).  We are slowly making progress.

We found out from the City of Kingsport building inspectors that we are going to have to hire a General Contractor and we cannot be our own contractors.  This drives up the cost of renovations considerably.

We met with our contactors once again and they are working with us to use some of our sub-contractors in order to save money on the project.  They are currently working on new numbers for the renovations.  We are hoping to get much of our supplies donated and this will also help hold down the cost.  The numbers are still out on what it will cost to renovate using our people.  We told the contractors that we are looking at not going over $350,000 for renovations.  They took a big breath and looked a bit shocked, but were still open to working toward that number.  We are doing everything we can to lower that cost.

In order to go forward, we will have to have a bulk of the renovation monies ($350,000) upfront.  We have had a pledge of $20,000 given this past week for renovations.  Other than that, it has been quiet.

We have a fund-raising committee that is working hard on projects.  One of them will be an Auction that will be held on Saturday, July 14th at 10 AM.  We will be auctioning off all that we can at this point.  We will have to hold on to some things (especially everything at the theatre) until we finish renovations at the State.  We will be auctioning off office equipment, some set pieces, furniture, vintage clothes, costumes, etc.

The fund-raising committee is trying to plan one large fundraiser per month until we are in the building.  Some proposed ideas are a Run, a Student Walk-a-Thon, another Auction, and a Dinner.  We are in prayer and seeking God’s direction.

I knew there would be obstacles, but I had not idea that we would have to jump through so many hoops to get to the goal.  I know that this has been a leap of faith for so many.  I also know that a great deal of this rests on my shoulders.  Everyone is trusting me to make the right decision for this ministry.  This is where it “gets lonely at the top”.  While I have great counsel and people of incredible wisdom, they are where I am.

We all want God’s will.  These roadblocks have been caution flags for us as we move ahead.  None of us wants to get ahead of God nor act by emotions or feelings.

I know that God has directed every step of this thus far and it has increased my faith incredibly.  But what is He wanting to do at this point? What does He want us to do?  I feel very much like Abraham on Mount Moriah with his son Isaac.  I have laid all that I have on the altar and I have been willing to give it up (our current theatre, my personal assets, all that we have worked to establish).  I have stepped out in faith and have raised the knife of sacrifice and obedience.  I am now waiting for God to provide a “ram in the thicket”.

There are people out there who can make the renovations happen.  We have the pledges for the purchase.  We have acted in faith.  We have people who are researching grants and have applied for several.  Because we are faith-based, it keeps us from receiving many that are available.  It would be great to see individuals, businesses, or foundations to step forward and take care of these renovations.

I don’t know how God is going to do it, but I can’t help but know the specifics of how God has provided so far.   Two days ago, we had a young girl (elementary student) step forward to make a donation of over $500.  It was money that she received for her birthday.  It was her idea, instead of receiving gifts for her birthday, she wanted people to give toward renovations for the State theatre.  Her parents were overwhelmed by her selflessness.  I was humbled at this little girl’s faith.  It reminded me to keep pressing on to God’s calling.

Please be in prayer for us.  We have to sign the closing papers Tuesday morning.  I need to hear from God about the renovations.  Maybe this has been a journey of obedience.  I can say we have already accomplished that part of His will.  If this is where it ends, I will be obedient.  Again, the contingency in our contract with Citizens Bank on the State is that we need to secure the finances to renovate.  Thus far, we have not obtained the monies to do so.

We could purchase the State and not renovate until we have received the funds to do so.  The only thing that would hinder that is if we do sell our current facilities, we will be without a building to continue our performances to bring in income.  We also haven’t closed on our current property and if for some reason it does not sell, we will have 2 properties and mortgages to maintain.  We don’t see that happening and everything on the sale of our property looks good so far.  We are in a contract, but there are contingencies that we are waiting to see come through.

My brain hurts to think about it sometimes.  I just want to act in faith and obedience.  I want God’s will above all.  I know the road blocks are here for us to work together and to increase our faith.  I am truly at the crossroads and waiting for God’s direction.  Pray for wisdom and discernment.  Pray for God’s confirmation of going forward or staying where we are.  I have never and will never walk in fear.

It is easy for many to say “we believe,” it is not so easy for them to step out in faith and walk with you.  This is going to require sacrifice and prayer on all of us involved.  Many of you are giving so much of yourselves, time, and energy.  We believe that God will provide the sacrificial ram.  Show us, O God.  We want to hear from you and follow as you lead…

In Him,

Billy Wayne     Phil. 1:6



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