“Rough Roads”

 Meanwhile, negotiations with “Grace” had yet again been suspended but Bishop Dickerson labored forward and continued communication with the one remaining interested bank and continued contacting other banks.  Bishop Dickerson was notified by our final banker that they would not only give us the money to purchase a building but that it would be at an excellent interest rate.  Now we had the money but negotiations with “Grace Lutheran” were at a stand still. 

During this time Bishop Dickerson was also in negotiation for the sale of 920 E. Fulton Street.  At one point, with a signed contract in hand, he waited for the buyer to secure financing.  Unfortunately this effort failed and the search continued for another buyer to purchase the Fulton Street property.

Bishop Dickerson was showing Fulton Street to potential buyers and one day a congregation housed in temporary rented space completed a walk through and fell in love with 920 E. Fulton Street.  They were directed to our banker and their financing was quickly approved.

Continuous communication from Bishop Dickerson with Pastor Rayburn revealed that once again “Grace” was negotiating with another congregation and a closing was scheduled.  Even this notification did not stop Bishop Dickerson.  He phoned “Grace” daily and on the date of the initial scheduled closing with the competing Church it failed and was set for yet another date.  Bishop Dickerson waited for the next date and was advised that there would be no closing and he was asked whether or not he would be amenable to reentering negotiations. 

Without discouragement communication commenced once more and finally Bishop Dickerson determined that the devil had sifted this situation long enough.  He notified all of the parties in writing that no longer would he be held in abeyance and by faith in July of 2008 Bishop Dickerson tendered a final offer that was lower than any he had previously submitted.  All council to the contrary suggested this floor offer would be rejected out of hand.  Disregarding realtors and experts Bishop Dickerson submitted his final offer.  Having set a deadline for a response he waited and miraculously the lower offer was accepted and Ebenezer entered into contract for purchase.

All of the wheels were set in motion:  signed contracts for the sale of 920 E. Fulton and the purchase of 4500 Refugee Road, approved financing, and exchange of earnest monies to seal the agreements. 

A flourish of activity commenced; property inspections, insurance approvals, inventories and formal compilation of documents had to be completed for 920 E. Fulton as well as 4500 Refugee Road.  Work of mammoth proportions ensued including detailed planning and preparation.  At last it appeared as though a closing was in view.