Church gives family keys to new home

DEXTER, MO (KAIT) - The Christmas season is a time for giving, and First Baptist Church in Dexter, Missouri is giving one family the keys to a brand new home.

"All of us have received grace and so we can extend grace to others," says First Baptist Church Pastor Dr. Steve Easterwood. The church is extending that love through the Grace House.

"This started as a dream. Our church goes and does a lot of mission trips world-wide, but I just felt like we needed to do something locally. We decided to build this house and all the contractors and community came together," says Easterwood.

Volunteers donated their time and sweat constructing what it now a beautiful home. Sunday, the family came in front of the congregation to be recognized. Recipient Brenda Wade says she's been looking to buy a house since August, but couldn't seem to find anything fitting her budget.

"My first thought was I can't do this, and then I thought no I'm going to pray about it," says Wade. She says it all still feels like a dream. "The day I found out I said "I keep waiting for someone to say smile you're on candid camera." I just feel so blessed and unworthy of it you know," says Wade.

A video was shown during the service showing the journey from the ground breaking to pictures of what the finished product looked like from the inside equipped with all new amenities.

"It'll be a big change. In all my life I've never lived in a home that nice," says Wade.

"Here's a single mom raising a seven year old son. She's living a trailer the utility bills are outrageous. The home that we built it energy efficient. She's going to save at least 100 hundred dollars a month on utility bills," says Easterwood.

Along with moving into the home, Wade will pay 300 dollars a month for eight years to put in an escrow fund. "We pay taxes and insurance out of the escrow fund, and then at the end of eight year they get that money back. So they get the title to the house and a savings account so that possibly her son can go to college," says Easterwood.

Wade received the keys to home Sunday afternoon, and the family was ready to go. "We'll be ready to move in this evening. We got everything packed," says Wade.

She says it is a blessing that has impacted her life. "It's strengthened my faith and believing and God answers prayers," says Wade.

The Grace House was patterned after Habitat for Humanity. This is the first time the church has done this type of project and would love to do it again.