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Templins come home to brand new house

ENID—The front porch is now a master bath and closet. The living room is now the master bedroom. The old master bedroom is now a guest bedroom/office. The kitchen/dining area has been opened up with a large pass-through and updated with new cabinets and appliances. And that’s just the original house. Added to it is a new, large living/great room area, laundry room, another bedroom and a spacious two-car garage.

This is the house retired missionaries Phil and Peggy Templin came home to after serving with the International Mission Board in Mexico and Guatemala for 25 years.

The Templins’ original plan was to settle down in the 900-square-foot “retirement” house in Enid they purchased from Peggy’s uncle some four years ago. The house needed a lot of work, which the Templins planned to do during vacation time.

Those arrangements rapidly changed when Tom Elliff, then the IMB’s senior vice president for spiritual nurture and church relations, heard about the Templins’ remodeling plans.

The Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma’s volunteer office and the Cherokee Strip Associational office were contacted. Norman Wagoner, BGCO Mission Service Corps coordinator, and longtime friend of the Templins, contacted Dennis Treat, a member of Enid, Emmanuel and pastor of Enid’s Grace Mennonite Church, who called the association’s pastors together and presented the need to them.

From that meeting, John Doffer, ministry associate for Cherokee Strip Association, and Esley Coehn, a member of Enid, First, took charge of the project.

In a little more than a year, volunteers from across the state had torn out the existing garage, walkway, front porch and six trees, and finished an 1,800-square-foot house with new flooring, siding and roof.

Approximately $48,000 was donated to the cause by churches across the state and as far away as Virginia.
“It seemed God sent us people just at the time we needed them,” said Treat. “We had a roof problem, where water was draining into the garage, but we didn’t know how to fix it. A volunteer came from Cherokee to help, but he couldn’t figure it out either. We saw him out back on his knees praying. He came back and said, ‘I think God and I have it figured out.’ And he fixed it.”

The house was completed in December, and missionaries from Japan lived there for three months. The Templins came home in June, and the house was dedicated on June 12.

In a dedicatory message, John Stam, minister of education at Enid, Emmanuel, said the effort to remodel the house for the Templins reminded him of the Apostle Paul and the early church.

“No one had a need because everyone shared,” Stam said. “What’s exciting about this is it wasn’t just one church, one association or even one denomination who helped. This is the way the body of Christ should be. A whole lot of organizations helped—that is the New Testament church.”

Stam reminded that after Paul’s first two mission trips, he came home.

“Our desire is this be a place of rest, refreshment and a place to find new ministry opportunities,” he said. “We welcome you the way the church welcomed the Apostle Paul.”

Now at home in the place the Templins met more than 40 years ago, Phil, looking at their new home, said, “This is more than we ever expected.”

Dana Williamson

Author: Dana Williamson

View more articles by Dana Williamson.

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