Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

September 23, 2013

Steeple new ‘beginning’ for Durbin church

CATLETTSBURG — Tammy Opell got a chill watching her husband and seven other men put the steeple in place at Durbin Independent Baptist Church on Saturday morning — and it wasn’t because of the drizzle of rain.

It was a symbol that the newest church in the small Durbin community was open for business.

“It is like the beginning of the beginning,” she said. “It powers us up to work for God.”

The men gathered on a rainy Saturday morning and, with the help of a crane operated by Steve Opell, Tammy’s husband, lifted the 500-pound fiberglass steeple into place on the pitched roof of the small church.

The church was previously the home of Durbin Nazarene, which had it for sale after building on another property off U.S. 23.

Tammy and Steve, who live up the road from the church, were traveling past it one day last October on the way to riding horses at Yatesville Lake when she saw the for sale sign.

“Steve said ‘Make a call about it,’’’ she said.

Tammy called Marilyn Mason, the real estate agent whose number was on the sign, and the church eventually made an offer that was accepted. They have since hired a pastor, Dr. John Lewis, and also have spent $50,000 on new roofs on buildings, some chairs for the sanctuary and the steeple.

The new church will have a chartering service at 11 a.m. on Oct. 13.

“This says we’re here and our doors are open,” Tammy said.

Anthony Lewis, one of the men who worked on the steeple, said the new roof was a little slick, but everything went well despite the downpour.

“They said last night it looked like it was going to rain, but we’d all decided it was going to happen,” he said.

Most of the men working on the steeple also work construction and sometimes are out of town.

Bill Opell said the steeple on top of the church “makes it look like a church. It says we’re here and here to stay.”

The church currently only has about 50 members, but they expect that number to grow.

It took a couple of hours to gently put the steeple in place on a treacherously slick roof. The project was finished without anyone being injured and they enjoyed some food and fellowship afterward.

“This is going to be a great work here,” said Steve Opell. “I think we’re blessed to have him (the new pastor). Everything is going forward the way it should be.”

Opell said watching God work through the new church “gives me chill bumps.”

Lewis said he was humbled by all that’s already happened at the church. “Not bad for a new work,” he said.

MARK MAYNARD can be reached at mmaynard@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2648.

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