Longview church receives $1.5 million gift

An East Texas church gets an early Christmas gift - a big one! Since 2005, Lifebridge Christian Center has been meeting at the Ramada Inn in Longview. They have been building a new place to worship, which put them in debt, but not anymore.

As KLTV 7's LaKecia Shockley shows you, the pastor says their faith brought them an anonymous donation of $1.5 million.

They're packing up and moving out. Lifebridge Church members are just weeks away from opening their newly constructed church, and thanks to a generous donor, it's a debt free move.

"In January of 2007 I took this deposit slip, and I wrote down one million dollars on this slip, meaning that one day someone would give us a million dollar gift," said Pastor Tom McDaniels.

Pastor McDaniels says an anonymous business owner asked him to take a car ride, and that's when it happened.

"He looked at me and said how much do you owe? And I said we owe $1.4 million when the project's over, and he said, I'm going to give you a check for $1.5 million and he wrote the check out right there in front of me and handed it to me," said Pastor McDaniels. "I said, if you'll stop the car let me get out and run in a few circles...I'll come back in and we'll have a talk! It was great!"

For Pastor McDaniels and his wife Charlotte, the $1.5 million gift was an answer to countless faithful prayers that came true.

"Two or three times a month I would look at this and I prayed over it that God would give us a million dollars so that our building could be paid for debt free," said Pastor McDaniels.

"If he can give our church $1.5 million with the economy the way it is today, I mean, to me that would testify to anybody that God can do anything," said Charlotte.

Pastor McDaniels says this donation is a true testament to keeping the faith.

"Faith is the substance of things hope for...and as long as your hope is alive then God's dream is alive inside of us," said Pastor McDaniels.

"If we just hold on to the promise and keep believing and asking God then all things are possible to anyone who believes."

Lifebridge has given away over $500,000 to local and national charities and mission organizations, and they say they plan to give even more.

LaKecia Shockley, reporting. lshockley@kltv.com