Bladen County church gets early Christmas gift

By: Chrysta Carroll - Bladen Journal

CLARKTON — Over the doors of a Clarkton church are the words “Welcome … Receive your miracle.” The congregation may have received a miracle of its own, and just in time for Christmas.

Founded approximately 20 years ago and located in a former warehouse on U.S. 701 in Clarkton, Faith Temple Holiness Evangelistic Center is pastored by Clifton Wooten. Whn the shingled roof on the white-siding building recently began leaking, Wooten and his 50-member congregation starting wondering how to get it repaired.

Wooten ended up purchasing tin roofing and utilizing church members, family and friends to complete the installation.

“One of the people helping had some experience in roofing, so that helped,” Wooten said.

By the time the team finished the large section, they had spent $3,700 — a large portion of it out of Wooten’s own pocket. The smaller roof over the vestibule still remained, however, and money was gone.

While wondering and praying about what to do, Wooten received a phone call from a friend needing help one day. Lumberton resident Kenneth Taylor owns property in Clarkton and was hunting on his land recently. When he snagged a deer on his solo trip, he needed help getting the animal to his vehicle and called on his friend Wooten for assistance.

“I had driven by his church recently, and I saw they had stopped working on the roof, even though it was only about one-third of the way finished,” Taylor explained. “I thought maybe they had stopped because they ran out of money.”

When Wooten came to Taylor’s aid with his hunt, the conversation turned to the project and the church’s need for additional work.

“My heart goes out to anybody with a bad roof,” Taylor explained. “The Lord spoke to my heart, and I wrote him a check for $100 that day. I thought he was going to shout over that.”

Taylor wasn’t done, however. He went to his own church and spoke to them about the need, and an anonymous church member agreed to donate $1,000. When Taylor spoke to Wooten again, he was surprised by what Wooten said.

“He told me he thought the project would take $1,000 — exactly the amount the donor had given,” Wooten commented.

“It was such a blessing — so beautiful, so wonderful,” Wooten gushed. “I kept wondering where I would get the money, and I’m so grateful God laid it on somebody’s heart to do this. God works in mysterious ways.”

For the donor, the joy of doing the Lord’s work is enough.

“Don’t ever think you have to depend in-house for God to work; God’s got people everywhere,” the donor said in an email. “My heart’s about to bust that the amount I gave was exactly what they needed. I don’t want any recognition, but I’m hoping if this story gets out, that it might touch somebody else’s heart to help another church.”

Though Wooten doesn’t know the name of the benefactor, his faith tells him he will one day know, and he will see the donor in eternity. For now, though, he has a message.

“I wish he knew how many miracles have taken place in that building,” he said. “I wish I could meet him and tell him thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing

Chrysta Carroll

Bladen Journal