NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - For 10 years, pastor Homer Murray has prayed for and aided others at Holly Springs Baptist Church in Nacogdoches County.
Now is the time for the preacher to be on the receiving end of support.
Murray is receiving a lot of hugs lately because friends and family almost lost him.
"Doctors explained, 'You are a medical miracle,'" Murray said.
Last June, Murray was airlifted to Houston. Surgeons removed an aortic aneurysm. Then in February, a second aneurysm was removed. That one led to life-threatening complications.
Today the Murray family feels blessed as recovery continues, but the medical bills are mounting up.
As a result, Holly Springs Baptist Church is having a benefit garage sale.
Church members found themselves coming and going Tuesday. They were ready for their shepherd to come back.
"He leads our church and has the Holy Spirit leading him," said Ted Martindale, a member of Holly Springs Baptist Church. "And that's all we can ask for."
Murray has suddenly found himself on the receiving end of support.
"You know you feel a little awkward knowing that this is all for you, but at the same time very appreciative," Murray said.
Leslie Nichols is helping the pastor accept the love. The community rallied in a similar way when her 2-year-old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia. Today, Lexie is a 5-year cancer survivor.
"This is just a very small token of paying it forward. Like the pastor, my husband and I have been very independent," Nichols said. "Like a lot of people, we try to do things on our own, take care of our own and it hit us full force when we had to be at the beacon call of many people."
The pastor was feeling that force Tuesday.
"They are willing to come and work and give of their finances and their time and resources to help out, so we're very grateful, but it is humbling," Murray said.
Murray is prayerful that he will be told tomorrow that he will no longer have to undergo dialysis.
The benefit garage sale is Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Also on Saturday barbeque plates will be sold from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It all takes place at the Holly Springs Baptist Church on Highway 59 between Appleby and Garrison.