One of the ways God chooses to reveal Himself to us is through history. God demonstrates His love for His people as He sovereignly guides and directs the events and circumstances in our lives. Scripture records the history of the early church as God provided leaders, places of worship, and growth in the beloved to serve alongside each other in the ministry of reconciliation through His Son. God’s kindness, goodness and mercy is everlasting.
In October of 1979, a small group of about thirty Christ-loving believers gathered together to worship their risen Savior at Buckeye Elementary School with Dale Cundall as their pastor. Pat Nordquist and Don Meyers went out on a limb with their employer to guarantee this no name group that met on Sundays would leave the facility ready for school on Monday morning.
The family grew and by 1981 the elders were considering a more suitable, permanent location to meet. There were no other churches in Shingle Springs and there was no suitable property on the market. A piece of property just across the freeway from Buckeye School caught Pastor Dale Cundall’s eye as he passed by from time to time. He explored the property and found a large rock and sat down to pray. He found Himself returning to the rock on the parcel from time to time to pray recognizing the suitability of the property for a church.
Pastor Dale’s research uncovered the name of owner who was from out of the area. The first contact with the owner revealed that he had no intent or desire to sell the parcel. However, some time later, he contacted Pastor Dale and asked to meet to discuss the possibility of selling the property. The elders arranged to meet with him at Denny’s in Cameron Park. Before they sat down he indicated he would not consider anything less than $300, 000 for the 6.7 acres. The elders explained that $100,000 would be the most they could pay. They quickly parted and went their own ways.
Several months passed before the owner contacted the elders to let them know that he would like to sell them the front half of the property for $60,000. The new church had become, at this point, affiliated with the North American Baptist Conference. NAB and Church Extension Investors Fund (CEIF) each agreed to provide $30,000 for the purchase of the property.
In 1982, Jon Murray arranged for equipment and he and others began to develop the property for the possibility of constructing a church building. Plans were developed and delivered to the plan checker at the county whose response was:
“No way are you going to build a church - we don’t need one. You don’t have the skills and the metal roof does not meet our standards.”
Pastor Dale found himself stopping by the planning department weekly to check on the status of the plans. On one visit during a discussion about the roof the fire chief just happened to walk in. Overhearing the conversation he enthusiastically approved the roof. Shortly after - the head of the department overrode the plan checker and placed him on field inspections.
Beginning in 1983 Pastor Dale Cundall and his son Phil worked on the building Monday through Friday with the congregation joining as they could. One day the property owner stopped by the construction site and notified the church that he would sell the remaining property but he could not accept funds that year. In 1984 Gold Country Baptist Church paid him $40,000 bringing the cost of the property to $100,000 - equal to the original offer!
CEIF provided the $150,000 we needed to build the multipurpose building despite the strong opinion of some professionals that we would not be able to complete the work for that amount and the building would stand unfinished.
In 1984 on the day of final inspection of the building a man drove up, got out of his truck and walked into the building with a definite scowl on his face. The man looked around, asked for some minor corrections and headed back to his truck. Pastor Dale followed him in attempt to facilitate some conversation. “I don’t want to talk,” he said, “but you do have one of the best built buildings in the county.” The man - previously a plan checker and now field inspector - got in his truck and drove away.
The Foltz, Murrays, Wardens, Rucker’s, Ford’s, Werum’s and many others worked alongside Pastor Dale until the first service in the new building was held on Easter Sunday in 1984.