by Keith Bunch and Ryan Martin
The Sunbury God’s Missionary Church is excited to announce the purchase of a new church building, parking lot, and pavilion only one block away from our current sanctuary.
This year we celebrate 60 years of ministry in Sunbury. God has blessed our church and its outreach into our community and we are so grateful. As we move forward, we are in need of a larger facility. Our Sunday School rooms are crowded and our sanctuary is full. The need for a building with greater capacity has grown more and more urgent over the past few years. We looked into building a new structure on our current property but found that it was entirely too small to meet our needs. Over the last couple of decades, we have purchased property adjacent to the church for additional parking and potential building space. But after checking into city building code requirements, we realized we would need to look elsewhere.
While we sought God’s will looking for a building appropriate to our ministry, we have taken the buildings we already own and are utilizing them as parsonages and creating a comfortable apartment efficiency for visiting evangelists and missionaries.
It was important to us to stay within the city limits of Sunbury, but challenging to find the right location. Our options were few.
After years of searching and praying, Pastor Bunch and his family were working at our church’s prayer station when an elderly couple approached them. After finding out which church they were from, they said, “We have been noticing your church parking lot and street parking. Your church is really growing! Unfortunately, ours is dying. We are from the church just up the street from you. Wouldn’t it be something if we could swap buildings or sell you ours?” Pastor Bunch contacted the pastor immediately but realized they were not interested in selling. Another dead end.
But God wasn’t finished. And neither was Sis. Cara Bunch, who continued to pray over the property, and after some time, encouraged him to check again.
“I can’t believe this! This has to be of God.”
On November 5, he felt impressed to walk to the Trinity Lutheran Church and talk to the current pastor. Pastor Mary looked at him with disbelief as he explained why he was there. “I can’t believe this! This has to be of God.” The very next evening she and her council were preparing to discuss what to do with their church building.
That began a two-year process of interactions with the Trinity Lutheran Congregation and Council. At long last, on February 21, 2020, we officially signed papers at the Ax Runkle office in Middleburg, Pennsylvania making the Trinity Lutheran Church facility ours! To God be the Glory!
We are expecting God to do great things and are looking forward to how He will provide and continue His work here in Sunbury.
A lot of work still lies ahead of us. We need to do extensive renovations: flipping the current sanctuary, relocating the restrooms, adding handicap accessibility, and updating the Sunday School rooms.
But something that one of the members of the Lutheran Church said at the signing puts it all into perspective. “I’m just so glad those rooms will be filled with children again!”
Sunbury God’s Missionary Church is “A Going Church for a Coming Savior!”
We believe that all the money, energy and labor will be worth it if we can share God’s love and message of redemption with a whole new generation of children, young people, and adults from our community.
We are so thankful that God has opened this door of opportunity in Sunbury so that we may continue to be “A Going Church for a Coming Savior!”