by Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun
Members of The Divine Connection church community celebrated their first Christmas in their new home on Monday.
“God has blessed us with a place to meet,” said Fidelia Severance, a member of the community. “We’re in transition. We’re getting the building up and running.”
“I just have to pinch myself to believe this experience,” said Fred Caton, pastor of the Divine Connection.
Since summer, members of the non-denominational community have been meeting at a room at the Tristar Inn on Route 66.
Then in early December, several benefactors stepped forward to make it possible for the community to have its own building on East Tucumcari Boulevard between Adams and Monroe streets, said Caton.
“God guides, and God provides,” said Caton, who declined to disclose the church’s benefactors.
The building is the former home of the Living Word church community. To some in Tucumcari, it may be more familiar as the old bus station.
Caton, who is a former pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, said he felt God was working through him to start the community and he had no idea that a church building would come at such speed.
A farmer and rancher in Ragland, Caton said that he, with the help of his wife, Rita, considers this a full-time ministry.
Caton has served as a music minister at other churches and often plays the piano in the devotional praise sections at services.
In addition to its Sunday services, the community also has outreach services and programs through its prison and a Road to Recovery ministries.
Volunteers of the community meet with prisoners at the Quay County Detention Center and pray with them, Caton said.
And the Road to Recovery is a service held on Friday nights that is based on Celebrate Recovery and the Alocholic Anonymous’ 12-step program, Caton said. However, “It’s backed up with scripture, and is based on the eight beatitudes,” he said. The beatitudes are from the biblical story of the Sermon on the Mount from the gospel of Matthew.
“Everyone has addictions, habits or hurts,” Caton said, so it’s open to all and not specifically aimed at one particular addiction, such as alcoholism.
An addiction is often so compelling, a person “can’t break free of something that strong without God’s help,” said Severance.
There are numerous churches in Tucumcari and why is there a need for another?
People have different ways of relating to each other, and each church can relate and connect with different people, Sevrance said. “It takes another to reach another group of people.”
Pastor Caton is very welcoming and makes an effort to meet people where they are, said Severance.
“The building’s physically under construction and the people are spiritually under construction,” she said. “The building’s not the church, but the church and its people are the body of Christ.”