From The Road

Theatre Update - Downtown Here We Come! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 18 November 2012 07:22

Theatre Update
March 7, 2013
“The Time Has Come”

     Hallelujah!!!! Look out Broad Street, here we come. We will be closing on the Strand Theatre (Restoration Fellowship Church) on Friday, March 8, 2013 at 11a.m. Our new location will be 140 Broad Street in downtown Kingsport.
     This has been a year and a half journey. Many of you have walked every step of the way with us. It has been like a roller coaster, but we have finally reached our destination by God’s grace and His perfect timing.
     Even though we will own the building on March 8, 2013, Restoration Fellowship Church will continue meeting at the Strand Theatre until the first week in April. Their last service there should be Easter Sunday. At that time, we will start the transformation process.
     Between now and April, we will be cleaning and working on areas of the building that the church is not using. We will be preparing for the renovations including:

- Restoring the marquee on the front of the building
- Restoring the ticket booth and adding an additional ticket booth
- New Carpeting and aisle lighting
- Replace existing lighting fixtures
- Improve plumbing and replace some bathroom fixtures
- Re-open the concession booths
- Painting the interior
- Artistic painting and vintage design work
- Install theatrical lighting
- Installing new sound system
- Installing vintage seating
- Expand the staging area
- Create gift shop area
- Refurbish office spaces
- Create make-up area and dressing room space
- Create storage space for props and some costuming
- Address and eventually upgrade the HVAC (It is working, but is very old)

     While this may sound like a lot, we have teams and individuals that have already looked at the different projects. Their estimated time of completion for the individual projects is less than 2 weeks. Most of this work is simple or aesthetic. The existing church has done an excellent job in maintaining the building over the years. Most of what we will be doing is restorative and cosmetic.
     Yes, we will need help. We will be having a VISION meeting at the Strand Theatre location in the next 2 to 3 weeks to allow the community and our theatre family to see the vision we have for renovations. We are currently working on designs and logistics. Our goal is to let the public know how they can help toward the renovations.
     Originally, we thought we could not move without the sale of our property. When our buyer fell through, we were a little disappointed. Thanks to the encouragement of our theatre family, we pushed forward. Through prayer and determination from our folks, we met the budget to move.
     We want to thank those who have made pledges toward the relocation. We have met our minimum goal of around $5,000 per month that will include the mortgage, utilities, and insurance.
     Our current theatre location in Fall Branch is for sale. It includes a 4,500 sq. ft home with 6 bedrooms, 3 full baths, 2 half baths, sunroom, and studio. There is a 10,000 sq. ft. theatre/500 seat capacity with office spaces and dressing rooms. An additional 3,600 sq. ft. storage building is also on the 14 acre property. This would be a great location for a retreat or camp. It would also be a beautiful setting for a mountain music entertainment venue. If you know of anyone interested, please call our offices or Country Charm Realty at (423) 612-2634.
     We are thankful to have our current location in this transition period. If we end up keeping the property, we will be looking into ways to utilize it for other ministry opportunities. Right now it houses our interns and will continue to be used for our rehearsal space and storage for props and sets. This is much needed since we do not have that kind of space at the Broad Street location.
     In the transitioning, we will continue raising funds for our renovations. Through donations toward Have-a-Seat Campaign, we have raised half of the funds toward 500 seats. The seats are $100 each and we have paid for 250 so far. We still have 250 unsponsored. If you or someone you know would like to purchase a seat in honor or in memory of someone, this is the time to purchase a chair. You can do this online by clicking here or by calling the office at (423) 245-1551. The remainder is due by the final installation date which should be in April. The vintage seats are being refurbished by a company out of Nashville. They are custom-designed to meet our specs and décor. Thanks again for all who have purchased seats thus far.
     We will be looking at carpets and flooring to replace the existing carpet. We do have an installer that has offered his services to help get this done.
     We have to install a new sound system. Restoration Church will need to take their system with them. We will be able to use some of the equipment we already have, but the design of the Strand including the balcony area requires additional equipment.
     The marquee and ticket booth will be re-opened. We don’t know exactly what work will have to be done on the marquee until we remove the “drive-it” (stucco) from around it. We hope this will be a simple process. If it meets city approval, we want to add an additional ticket booth under the marquee to help handle “will call” reservations.
     The HVAC is operating, but is very old. Some of the units need to be replaced. We do have someone who will be looking into the cost of replacing those units. This is something that can be addressed later since the HVAC is in working condition.
     As mentioned in the above list, there are many other things that will need to be done over a short amount of time. It is our goal to have the renovations done by the end of May. Our goal is to have a “Grand Opening” the weekend of May 31st. This will depend entirely upon the renovation process and timing. Again, most all of our contractors have told us that their jobs will take less than 2 weeks. We will be relying on many volunteers for clean-up and odd jobs for us to stay on schedule for our target date.
     We will be making an announcement on the date for the VISION meeting at the Strand sometime next week. We want to make sure that we have as much information as we can to share with those who attend. We are going to need a lot of support and prayers as we move forward.
     We are excited about what this will do for our ministry and for the downtown Kingsport area. We are looking forward to establishing great relationships with the businesses and organizations. We know that this will bring a great deal of patronage for businesses and companies in the surrounding area as well. Currently, at any given time, we are working with 100+ volunteers not including the patrons to our theatre. We are excited about bringing our folks to downtown.
     Our ministry seeks to be salt and light to the community. We are ready to bring quality entertainment to Kingsport and a message of hope for the hurting. We strive to show others the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus and not just being another “religious” group. We are real people with a real message.
     This is truly a dream (vision) come true. I have had it on my heart since I was a young student to have a Family Christian Theatre on Broad Street. God has burned that passion on my heart for years. After leaving and going away to college, working in professional theatre, and traveling for over 30 years, the time has come. I am humbly convinced that with a tiny seed of faith in an incredible God that dreams still do come true.

In Him,
Billy Wayne
Phil. 1:6

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 March 2013 08:19
Relocation Update PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 01 October 2012 15:29


Relocate and Renovate Update
October 1, 2012


Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for your patience in this whole process of relocating to downtown Kingsport.  While it has been a journey, we still believe that God is working the details out for all involved.  We firmly believe that this is a God thing and we are learning to be faithful in “the waiting.”

As of October 1, we found out that Celebrating Freedom (Branch House) has not been able to secure the finances to purchase our property at 441 Horton Hwy in Fall Branch.  Their contract deadline was September 30.

I did talk with Roger Morrell, the visionary for Branch House, before he left on his mission trip to Belize.  He told me that he felt God really wanted them to be at the location in Fall Branch, but they were struggling with securing the finances.  He said he believed he really heard from God and was still trusting.

At this point, they have not asked for an extension on the contract.  They have asked us to go ahead and put the property back on the market.  As of today, our current theatre property at Fall Branch is for sale.

We have turned some other potential buyers away the last couple of months.  We will be contacted them and letting them know that the property is available once again.  If you would like to pass the word that the property is up for sale once again, we would appreciate it.  The facilities include:

LampLight Theatre:  a 10,000 sq.ft. building with additional outdoor concession stands

House/ Office:  a 4,500 sq. ft. ranch house (2 full kitchens, 3 full baths, 2 half Baths, 2 dining rooms, 2 living rooms, 2 sunrooms, 6 bedrooms, Studio/den. 2 wash rooms.

A Wardrobe/ Shop: 2,400 sq. ft. Storage/garage/ shop out building (2 levels)

14 acres of land

**The last appraisal was $500,000

It was our hope that Branch House would become a reality in Fall Branch.  We would love to see another ministry get the property and continue Kingdom work. If you are interested in knowing more about their vision, please call our office and we will get you in contact with them.

We are still in a purchase contract agreement with Restoration Fellowship Church.  Our deadline is October 31.  In order for us to purchase their property, we have to sell ours.  Please be in prayer over the next couple of weeks as we pray for God’s timing in this situation.

We believe God wants us in downtown Kingsport.  We are just waiting for His timing.  We do believe that God is working all these circumstances for the good of those who are involved.  We are all in agreement that God is up to something great.  We are just waiting for his provision and timing.

We will keep you posted as we learn details.  Thanks again for your prayers and support.  Please pray for Branch House and Restoration Fellowship Church as well.

Still Believing,

Billy Wayne



Last Updated on Monday, 01 October 2012 15:30
State Theatre Closing? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
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

D.I.Y. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 05:47

June 19, 2012

“Do It Yourself”


Dear Friends,

Welcome to HGTV: Do It Yourself.  Lol. After meetings and prayer sessions, we have landed on being our own General Contractor for the renovation project.  Once we received all of the information on the cost of the project, even the lowest proposals were out of our league.  We firmly believe that we have enough qualified licensed sub-contractors and volunteers to do this project.  This will save us an incredible amount of money.  We would love to be in the building for less than $350,000.  We feel this is possible with the information and interested contractors that we have thus far.

While it would have been much easier for us to have a General Contractor to supervise this project, sometimes it just isn’t practical.  The money saved could be used on the project itself.  There is a great deal to be done and we are humbled by the contractors, mission groups, and individuals who have stepped forward to offer their services and supplies.  We are convinced that this started as a grass-roots community project and God wants us to continue in that fashion.

I want to personally thank the men/contractors who have represented some great construction companies.  They are godly people who have helped us understand a great deal about this whole process.  I regret not being able to work with them, but our projected budget would not allow us to do so.  I know that these contractors pushed to get me numbers and worked very hard at trying to crunch numbers.  I pray for God to bless them and their companies.

We have architects coming in next week to look at the property and hopefully we will get our drawings done quickly.  We really need to get started as soon as possible.  We should be able to start demolition soon.  We will be planning a ground breaking and will keep you informed as to when all events take place.

We are currently putting together our team of licensed contractors, so that construction can start as soon as possible.  We are praying for God to send each contractor that He wants on the building.  We are grateful to be working with Dee Morgan with the city of Kingsport.  He will make certain that all things are to code for the safety of workers and our patrons.

I feel a little like Solomon in building the temple.  I know that God has a plan for this beautiful building.  We want to utilize everyone that we can.  We want like-minded people that understand our mission to be a part of this project.  We are believing for God to bring those along who have a passion to preserve this building and help us with the mission before us.

We need your prayers:

For Contractors

For Finances

For Supplies, Materials, & Equipment

For the Architect

We will be doing some additional fundraisers other than the “Have a Seat” Campaign, the “Pillar Wall”, and the lobby pavers (information on this site).  It will be necessary for us to have an auction at our existing location since we can’t take everything with us.  That will be coming as soon as we are able to close on the property.  We will notify you of ways you can contribute or help raise money for the renovations.

For those of you who do not know the full capacity of our ministry and what we do, we ask that you check out We want to invest in lives of those in our community that are hurting, especially teens.  The theatre has been a place where we have seen young lives restored and families brought back together.

If all goes as planned, it looks like we will be closing on The State with Citizens Bank of Rogersville on July 9th.  God is good.  We are looking into the possibility of getting an equity loan for the construction work. This would allow us to go ahead and get started since we need to be in the building by the Christmas season.  Pray for God’s continued guidance.  Please don’t forget about us.  There is a long road ahead.

If you are interested in being part of our Prayer Team or our Fund-Raising team, please contact our office.  It has been wonderful to see how God is working through each detail.  Sometimes, I just need to step out of the way and let Him do what He does best.

Again, thank you for all you have done so far.  Your words of encouragement have been a great strength.  This is still so God-sized for us.  That is what makes it so great.  God still amazes me everyday.

Prayerfully Pressing Ahead,

Billy Wayne

Renovate the State Update PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 12 June 2012 16:25




I just wanted to send this letter of thanks to everyone for all that you did to help make our kick-off for Renovate the State a success.  The event was very well attended.  It is our prayer that we answered as many questions as possible.

At this point, the 2 bids that we have received range in cost:

1.) $1,175,000.00 (One million one hundred seventy-five thousand and 00/100 dollars).

-This number does not take into account the list of potential donors, in kind, or other cost reduction opportunities

2.) $600,960.10 (Six hundred thousand, nine hundred sixty dollars and ten cents)

-This number does not include the backstage or basement construction.

-This number does not take into account the list of potential donors, in kind, or other cost reduction opportunities.


Both companies are willing to work with sub-contractors that are willing to donate time and resources.  However, those sub-contractors must be willing to sign a contract just as though they are working a job for compensation.  This will guarantee completion of the project in a timely fashion.

There are things that we love about both companies.  Both are faith-based and have been great to work with.  It will come down to final numbers once everything has been researched.

According to our list of donor companies and workers, it looks as though we are going to be able to reduce the price considerably if everything goes through that has been verbalized so far.  We would love to be in the building with a budget not to exceed:

Total = $450,000

We are aware that this will be a miracle.  We have been constantly amazed at what God has been doing for us so far.  We know He has a plan for the renovations as well.

We do want to offer different ways of giving:


I. “ Have a Seat” Campaign:  For a donation of $100, you can have a seat named in honor/or memory of someone you love.

II. “Way Makers”: Pavers will be placed in our lobby for a donation of $250 toward renovations.  Our plans are to finish the lobby with pavers.  This will tie in to the Vintage Theatre theme and we will be able to honor people who contribute monies toward the renovations.  These pavers can also be named in honor/or memory of someone you love.

III. “The Pillar Guild Wall”:  A wall will be constructed on the Market Street side of the State Theatre where the “Will Call” entrance will be located.  We will be moving our current sandstone LampLight Theatre sign from its current location to the State Theatre.  The large stone will be mounted to the wall and bricks will be placed around it to honor our donors.  There are three kinds of bricks that will represent three ways to give:

1. “TORCHBEARERS”:  (4”x 8” dark brick) Those who

contribute $2,000+ toward the purchase of the State Theatre

2.  “KEYSTONES”:  (4” x 8” light brick) Those who contribute $2,000+ toward the renovations of the State Theatre

3. “CAPSTONES”:  (12” x 12” Stone) Those who contribute $5,000+ in monies or materials toward the renovations of the State Theatre

We need these contributions as soon as possible in order to begin the renovation process.

Please be in prayer.  We should be closing with Citizens Bank on the State Theatre in the next couple of weeks.  We are also in a contract with our current property at 441 Horton Hwy in Fall Branch.

When we close on our current property, we will be able to pay-off most of our current debt. The future owners will allow us to use the property until December 31 of this year.

We are pressed for time in order to make these transitions.  It will be the hand of God and the generosity and obedience of His people for this happen.


  • $280,000 in cash and pledges has been raised for the purchase price of the State thus far.  $100,000 of this was loaned for the down payment with no interest for 2 years.  The other $180,000 has been made in pledges to be paid over the next 2 years. Some of these are already “TORCHBEARERS”. Many have made $2000 in pledges to be paid within a 2 year period.
  • “HAVE A SEAT” Campaign:  Thus far 216 chairs have been promised.  150 pledged and 76 paid for already.  This brings the total to $7,600 thus far.
  • “WAY MAKERS”: Total money for pavers is 4 pavers paid for $1,000 and 2 more pledged.
  • “KEYSTONES” & “CAPSTONES”: No one officially. However several businesses and contractors have made pledges to give toward the Renovations.

TOTAL MONEY for our Drop-By Fund-raiser Saturday, June 9 was $4,582 which was pavers and chairs and $200 in pledges.

We have a total balance of $17,842.11 in the Theatre Relocation/Renovation Account thus far.

Again, be in prayer for us as we seek to do God’s will.  Thanks again for your support.  We ask that you help us in our efforts to bring quality Christian, family entertainment to downtown Kingsport.  We cannot do this without your help.

If you know of someone who might want to make a contribution or if you would like to talk to someone personally, please contact our offices.

If you are interested in helping with our fund-raising events, please contact us as well.  We look forward to serving with you in this project.


In His Steps,

Billy Wayne





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