By Sharon Mager
DAGSBORO, DE. — High Tide Church (HTC) in Dagsboro, Delaware, had an emotional groundbreaking ceremony on May 16 for their new 10,000 square foot, single-story building to be constructed on Nine Foot Road by the spring of 2022.
The church began meeting in the home of Pastor Andy Ehlers and his wife, Tanya, in 2002. They’ve been mobile since that time. Currently, they meet at the Roxana Volunteer Fire Company in Frankford, Delaware. Previously, they gathered at John M. Clayton Elementary School in Dagsboro and at the Lord Baltimore Elementary School in Ocean View.
God’s Plan for the Church
Andy said, “We know this building is God’s plan for our church. Despite the challenges we’ve faced during the last year with COVID-19 … our members have willingly given during these difficult times. Our ‘MORE’ campaign hit its initial milestone that has enabled us to start construction and we’re excited to make this building a reality.”
After welcoming attendees, Andy introduced Tanya. Looking around with a huge smile, she told the church she was amazed at the great turnout. “When Andy and I first moved here to Delaware with the idea of starting a church, it was very overwhelming.” Tanya said the couple prayed, not sure what to do, how to start. “I remember that first year we had a handful of people. And many of those same people are sitting right here now, which is really awesome,” she exclaimed, adding that much has changed. “At that time I was pregnant with Raychel and now she is 18.”
Tanya commended faithful volunteers. “We’ve been going back and forth between different buildings, with tubs and carrying stuff.“ As a “children’s person,” she said she understands how hard it has been, continually setting up and taking down for worship and other events.
The LORD on high is mighty!
Looking out, she said, “Now, I see the land! I can’t wait for it all to begin.” Tanya became emotional, but smiled once again and blamed it on ongoing chemo treatments. “I pray in this season of my life that God would allow me to be here for the whole thing and to see it all put together.” She asked others to pray for her as well.
“It has been so cool to watch Him work through HTC. I didn’t know how He’d bring this church together to begin with. For 18 years we have been wandering and yet you guys still kept coming and God has provided.
“I’m so thankful that God did this. It’s all God.”
Closing, Tanya read Psalm 93:4 (ESV), “Mightier than the thunder of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea — the LORD on high is mighty!” That’s the verse that inspired the church’s name, she shared.
After Tanya’s address, Lew Reeves, one of the church’s first members, told the congregation and friends, “God has a miraculous work for this community and around the world, and it’s just getting started.”
OCBC Planted HTC
Terry Davis, with his wife, Lynn, Tanya’s parents, started Ocean City Baptist Church (OCBC) three decades ago. Their dream was to plant churches in three towns in Delaware — Fenwick, Bethany, and Rehoboth. HTC was one of those churches.
“We met in a small living room in a house with a handful of members of OCBC and began dreaming. We had this vision to start churches all up and down the coast of Southern Delaware. When we got to the place of starting something here, God kept laying on my heart my daughter and her husband. I knew he was the man God wanted here,” said Davis. So they prayed.
“It has taken us almost 20 years to get to this part of it all,” Davis said. “But God doesn’t need a building. He needs His people, and that’s you” he said pointing to the crowd.
Jesus, the Cornerstone
Andy directed attention to a pile of rocks stacked as a memorial, as God commanded the people of Israel after crossing the Jordan River, recorded in Joshua 4. The rocks were a testimony to generations to come. These also were to be a memorial of God’s faithfulness to future generations.
He then pulled the cover off of a 1,000 pound cornerstone. Referring to Matthew 21, Andy said, “The cornerstone is crucial and critical. We must never get away from the truth. Christ is the cornerstone and there is no way to salvation except through Him.”
Andy led a time of prayer, thanking God for His provisions.
Cover photo by Carrie Boyden