At that time, the church had only $4,000 in the general fund and $400,000 in church debt. He literally prayed every week that God would send in money to pay the bills.
Miraculously, the church's growth began when they began giving sacrificially to missions, he said. He watched as God turned the church around financially. By faith, the church made a commitment to give so that others could hear the gospel, and today, CBC contributed $182,000 this past year in support of over 170 mission projects around the world.
"What I have seen God do, I would not trade for anything in this world," said Caudill. "I knew God wanted me here. One of the first things that caught my attention about Canaan was the friendliness and wonderful family atmosphere. I fell in love with these people the first time I came. I pastor what I like to call ‘the pastor's dream' - they love the Lord, the work of God, and are willing to follow their pastor."
In preparation of 2009, CBC hopes to be debt free as they celebrate their 50th anniversary. Founded in 1959 in a garage of one member's home, the church sits on 18 acres with four buildings including the old sanctuary and the Atha Building, named for former pastor, the late Rev. William Atha. Of the original charter members, Ruby Lee Shepherd is the only one left and attends regularly with over 400 members and visitors on Sunday.
Canaan is an independent Baptist Church that holds to principles of godly singing, preaching and soul-winning. Known as a Christ centered, Bible believing, friendly, mission-minded church, Canaan Baptist is a busy place. Their four buses bring in 198 people from Conyers, Covington, Oxford and the surrounding areas.
"I want to help my parishioners to grow and mature in the things of the Lord," Caudill said. "I want to edify them and have various areas of ministry so that every single member of the family can be involved in the work of God."
A native of Hayes, N.C., Dr. Caudill earned a Master of Theology degree from Carolina Bible College in 2000 and a Doctor of Ministry from Andersonville Baptist Seminary in 2001. He served in the Navy for six years and accepted the call to preach during that time. He was discharged on a Wednesday and was asked to preach that following Sunday at his home church in Jonesville, N.C. He stayed on as pastor for over three years. The following seven years, he served a church in Statesville. Macedonia World Baptist Missions Inc. asked Caudill to preach during an annual conference at Canaan. He came back for a revival and the church extended an invitation for him to serve as senior pastor.
Caudill met his wife Cassandra through a friend, and they were married in 1990. They have one 15-year-old son, Joshua, who attends the Baptist Academy in McDonough. Cassandra serves as the pastor's secretary. Caudill was appointed president of Macedonia World Baptist Missions Inc. Cassandra assists in the written communication to 150 missionary families around the world. In addition, the ministry team includes assistant pastor, the Rev. Thomas Satterfield; office manager Patsy Autry and volunteer Barbara Hiland who serves as church secretary.
On Sunday, Dec. 14 at 6 p.m., the public is invited to attend the children's Christmas musical, "The Plane Truth about Christmas" by Jimmy Travis Getzen and Gail Getzen. The scene is set in a crowded airport as travelers are trying to get out of town for the Christmas holiday. As the truth about Christmas is revealed, the lives of these travelers will never be the same.
"We want to make a difference in this community for Christ," said Caudill. "Christ changed my life one day and I want others to know that what he has done for me, he can do for them."
CBC offers Sunday school at 10 a.m. followed by services at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Mid-week services include Kings' Kids at 7:15 p.m. and teen and adult Bible study at 7:30 p.m.
For more information about Canaan Baptist Church, 5581 Salem Road in Covington, visit the web site at www.canaanbaptist.org or call (770) 786-8885.