A Dream to Debt Free

August 21, 2023

FLORESVILLE, TEX. – The Floresville Wilson County Seventh-day Adventist Church had a day of celebration on April 29, 2023, when the mortgage note was ceremonially burned to signify being debt free.

The Wilson County church began in 2004 with core members Don and Judi Dedman, Joe and Mercy Garcia, Pattie and Eddie Talbot, Linda Winn and Lovenna Cicle. Ruber Leal, currently Texas Conference family ministries director and associate pastor for the Richardson Seventh-day Adventist Church, was instrumental in helping this church plant formalize.

Meeting originally in the Dedman’s home, it wasn’t long before they needed a larger place to grow in membership. Joe Garcia found a house renovated into a church on FM 775 and arranged to rent it each Sabbath for $100 monthly. The group met there from January 2005 to January 2007. Outgrowing that church, they began meeting at the Floresville United Methodist Church right in town, again for $100 monthly. Three years later, in May 2010, they moved into a metal building on FM 1303 that they renovated into a church. A year later, the contract was extended another six months as they searched for a building visible to the community. 

On June 23, 2011, the group became a recognized company in the Texas Conference and found property to purchase. Formerly a bar and grill known as Juniors, it seemed like a strange place for a church, but it was the perfect location with a paved parking lot, a large, fenced backyard and a 4,000-square-foot building. 

The owner left many furnishings the members sold, but they kept the tables and chairs to use during events and services. “Now, this was our chance to right a wrong,” Don Dedman said. “We would turn a den of iniquity into a sanctuary of God for the people of Wilson County.”

They gutted the building, adding new flooring to create the sanctuary, Sabbath school classes and a fellowship hall. In November 2011, they held their first church service.

“We have had memorial services for loved members, baby dedications, baby showers, Bible studies, cooking classes and Revelation seminars,” Judi Dedman said, proudly sharing how they have enjoyed their new facility. 

Reading the history during the special April 2023 service before burning the mortgage, Judi, Wilson County church treasurer, shared that they purchased the property for $300,000, borrowing $220,000 from the Texas Conference. 

On July 15, 2022, she received a statement showing the loan was paid off. She couldn’t believe it. Excited to have the loan paid off, she felt it was providential that it arrived that day, as they had purchased the property on July 15, 2011.

“It is always a wonderful Sabbath when I can join a church family for their mortgage burning,” Randy Terry, Texas Conference treasurer, shared. “It shows their dedication and faithfulness to God and His holy place.

Texas Conference Executive Secretary David Montoya was also in attendance, giving the message. Read more about this special day in the news section of TexasAdventist.org.

By Tamara Michalenko Terry

Associate Director for Communication and Public Relations