Sermon Illustrations

The "Durango Herald" reports a story about Sean McMullen. "I don’t think he’d ever buy a new house," his wife, Kirsten McMullen, said. "He’d only buy an old house and renovate it. He just loves to do it." Among Sean’s restoration projects was the restoration of a Church. "The McMullens first heard of the plight of the St. Andrew Avellino Church in an article in the Pagosa Sun. The church was in Juanita, about 18 miles south of Pagosa Springs at the confluence of the San Juan and Navajo rivers. The church was one of six mission churches affiliated with the Immaculate Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church, located in Pagosa Springs."

I want you to see a picture of the Church when McMullen purchased it and moved it to Pagosa Springs (show picture). (Search the Durango Hearld archives for this story and pictures)

Actually this picture doesn’t even do it justice, but you can see from this picture the decay and delapidation; the cracks between the boards, the rotting wood. It is what happens when over time attention is not paid; and upkeep is not made; and the "price is not paid" to keep "this old house" in working order. "Through the years, the church had been vandalized, riddled with bullet holes and set on fire by juvenile delinquents and vagrants. Faced with the prospect of razing the building, the (owner)... turned it over last year to McMullen, who promised to move and restore it. "It was in trouble," Sean McMullen said. "It wouldn’t have stood another winter."

And isn’t is sad that a Church building would find itself in such a state.

McMullen numbered and disassembled the Church, reconstructing (show picture) it on its new site in Pagosa Springs. McMullen restored the two original confessionals and installed them in the relocated church. Restored the bell tower, even finding and purchasing the original bell; and because one stained glass window had been built into another structure in Denver he hired that a duplicate be made (show picture of window)... So far, McMullen said he has spent about $120,000 on the church, which he intends to use as a non-denominational wedding chapel. My point simply being, this man cared enough to spend his own money to restore something, how much more should we who call ourselves Christians be willing to listen to the teachings of Wesley, and ourselves take care of the ordinances of God.