Pastor works amid health crisis to help church raise money for new building

Sherman pastor is in the middle of fourth cancer battle, while also raising money for a new sanctuary

SHERMAN, Miss. (WCBI) – Pastoring a church is a very demanding job. That can be especially true when the church is raising money for a new building and the church’s shepherd is facing a health crisis.

“In January 2017, I first got diagnosed with stage four cancer, and the doctor looked at me and he told me, ‘ It’s really aggressive’,” said Pastor Terry Ethridge.

Ethridge and his wife Debra recalled that day when doctors said there was nothing more that modern medicine could do for his advanced prostate cancer. Eighteen months later, Pastor Ethridge was cancer free.

Ethridge is the pastor of Sherman Apostolic Tabernacle, and he shared his story from the church’s worship space in a shopping center off Highway 178.

The founding pastor of the church, known as SAT, has faced more health issues since that first cancer diagnosis.

“Later on, got diagnosed with cancer again, come on my left shoulder and middle of my spine. God took care of that, had it again, then last year, came up on the middle of my spine, it’s really aggressive again,” Ethridge said.

Through it all, Pastor Ethridge has stayed true to his calling as the shepherd of the flock and even started a fundraising campaign for a new building.

“We have been in this storefront for about eight years, and a lot of people will tell you upfront, they say, ‘we don’t want to go to a storefront’. I’ve heard them say that,” he said.

A tract of land, less than a mile from the storefront is the future home of the Sherman Apostolic Tabernacle. The church owns the land but they have to raise money for the 5,000-square-foot building. Pastor Ethridge said that will happen, with a lot of faith, prayer, and hard work.

“Things are starting to fall into place now, and we have had several reaching out to us, wanting to help with the new building. God has been putting things in order and doors opened up, we’re excited about what God has been doing,” the pastor said.

Debra and her husband said while their faith has been tested, they know victory is certain.

“He’s a miracle worker, sometimes you want to just give up, but keep holding on to a little grain of faith. He always makes a way when there seems to be no way,” Debra Ethridge said.

Pastor Ethridge goes for his cancer treatments every three weeks, and with the help of his wife, church members, strangers, and the Lord, he will also continue raising money for SAT’s new home.

Pastor Ethridge said Eight Days of Hope has also pledged its support for the church’s new building.

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