SHELBY COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - An East Texas church has been given another chance at life.
The Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church will soon be opened for the first time in three years.
Pastor Josh Crawford said he was both nervous and excited when he learned he would be in charge of the church.
The church is located on County Road 1470 in rural Shelby County between Center and Timpson. The church has been part of the community since 1897 and to the best of Crawford's knowledge, has gone through three buildings in its existence..
The church is more than a project. The building holds a special place in Crawford's heart.
"My mom was dragging me to this church, because I wasn't saved back then," Crawford said. "A lot of generations of my family is buried in the cemetery behind it."
A trip to the cemetery with his mother and children is when Crawford's vision started.
"We visited with my grandparents and the grass was overgrown and you could tell it was abandoned," Crawford said. "So that's when god put it on my heart about this church and possibly pastoring it but I knew I wasn't ready."
After two years of prayer, Crawford and his family agreed the time was right for him to leave his job as program director at Shelby County Outreach Ministries and answers God's call of full time ministry.
Crawford said it was all excitement the first time he got the keys to the building.
"I expected it to have that abandoned feel but also I felt a rush of excitement," Crawford said.
Crawford knows building the church back will be a long term process, but is ready for the ups and downs.
"It's pretty hard and nerve racking," Crawford said. "I'm just letting go and letting god take control."
Crawford said they are still fixing minor issues but plan on having their first service on June 22 at 11 a.m.