By: Pastors Danny & Calley Reed

As a family, we have experienced many changes in our years of serving in ministry. But the largest culture shift surely was birthed out of a decision we made in 2010 to leave behind comfort and completely surrender to the call to allow God to use us to reach hurting, broken people. We brought home our first daughter through adoption and we began to experience the truth of brokenness and trauma as we determined to create an atmosphere of radical faith in our home each day. Our desire was to watch our daughter be made whole by the power of God. This brought about many other deeper questions. Were we creating this kind of atmosphere of faith in our church? Were we blind to the trauma right in our backyard and in close by neighborhoods? Were we willing to surrender more?

Those early questions were the beginning of a culture shift in our church. We have since learned over the years that reaching hurting, broken people involves way more than giving a Sunday and Wednesday nod. It involves one’s complete life. 

As the years have passed by and in the middle of a plethora of needs and demands, we have watched God continue to show up. Our church culture has changed dramatically to have a heart for the broken. Our family has grown by 5 more children through birth and adoption. Every word God has spoken has been met by His unending faithfulness.

In the last 2 years we knew we were facing a crossroads again. As a family who had an array of needs that kept us running all over the state for resources, we received a word from Jesus in the summer of 2019. “It’s time to stop searching for resources for your family and it’s time to begin building them.” This prompt from the Holy Spirit began many miraculous steps to start a faith-based Montessori school in our area. Teachers signed up to become accredited in the Montessori method. A team developed. Others surrendered much to be a part of this vision. Calley also walked through Montessori training and began college to become a trauma counselor. 

As a church we prayed and fasted for direction for the space we needed for the growth we were seeing. God simultaneously laid a property on our hearts that was available in Natchez, Mississippi. It was a school campus that had 58,000 sq feet of building space, a football field, and room to expand. It was also way outside of what we could afford as a church. The property was appraised at 1.5 million. 

In July, after much prayer, we knew that God was leading us to pursue the property. We offered way less than the asking price, but knew it was as much as we could afford as a church. The board over the property said no, and that was that.

One Sunday morning in October while Danny was preaching, the Lord gave a very clear word…”Why do you quit when I say yes, but the enemy says no?” We knew immediately what God was referring to. Why had we quit on the property? What could we do? After church we discussed it, and knew we should spend the next few days praying and fasting about the Natchez property. 

On Monday evening (the following day), Danny’s phone rang. It was the realtor calling with miraculous news. The board over the Natchez property had changed their minds about accepting our offer!

We had not heard from the board since July and it was now October! Only one day after the Lord had clearly convicted us that we should not give up, He had moved to fulfill His purpose!

The following January we began 21 days of prayer and fasting as a church, along with nightly worship. One night, while Calley was leading worship, the Lord began to give her a vision of the mighty harvest He desired in the Miss-Lou. She saw a river flowing through the region, and it brought life and fruit everywhere it touched. After worshi

p that night, a lady in the church came to Calley and said she had to share a vision the Lord gave her during worship. She said, “The Lord showed me a mighty river that was passing through…but it is still dammed up. There is a shaking coming. But that shaking is what will be necessary to allow that river to flow where God intends for it to flow.”

We didn’t know what kind of shaking could be coming, but a few days later while Danny was working on demolition at the Natchez campus, he fell about 13 feet from a platform onto the concrete. He could not move. He was in severe pain and could have died. Somehow, he barely fractured a wrist. 

Our church fast continued and ended on a Sunday morning at the end of 21 days. The Monday morning following the end of the church fast, another surprising tragedy

occurred. Calley woke up to discover that our home was on fire. The beloved family home that we had spent the last 4 years meticulously restoring, burned all day long. Firemen worked to put out the flames to no avail.

At the end of the fire, all that remained of the 120 year old plantation were three exterior walls and the floor. We had no idea what we were going to do, but our community and church rallied around us. People we did not know sent us clothing and household needs. There were so many donations dropped at our church that we could go shopping for our needs there. A local church opened up their parsonage for us. God was with us and we knew we were going to be okay.

As we prayed about what to do about our home, we were at a loss. We had minimal insurance money, and our old plantation was around 5,000 square feet. There was no human way we could afford to rebuild/restore again. While we prayed for direction, the Lord spoke a word to us one morning…”The silver is mine and the gold is mine, says the Lord of Hosts…” When we went to search out the scripture, we were amazed. It was Haggai 2:7-8 and it said, “The silver is mine and the gold is mine, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house… And in this place I will bring peace.’

Since January of 2019, we have watched our home slowly rise up from the ashes. And as much as we loved our old home before, it is even more suitable for our large family now. We have been able to restore many of the old elements while modernizing as well. We have watched God meet every need as it has come. We are now living on the Natchez campus property as we wait for our home’s completion. 

In the middle of a pandemic, our home is being rebuilt, our church campus has moved, and the new school has opened. Living Hope Montessori accepted its first students in August! Calley continues to work on her counseling degree and teaches at the Montessori school. Danny is working on rebuilding our home, transforming the new campus into a church campus, and restructuring ministries after the disconnect of quarantine. The work continues on the Natchez Campus, and week by week, various ministries are bearing fruit again after the changes of the last few months.

Our older Reedlings are in High School and working their first jobs, and our little ones are all enjoying the new school. And amazingly, we are expecting a baby girl in December! We recognize all of these things as nothing less than fruit in a drought.

We see clearly that the river of His Holy Spirit is passing through our region, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. While we wait expectantly to be on the other side of trials, and completed buildings and homes, we only need to look behind us at His unending faithfulness to know those things are surely right around the corner. 

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green,and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” -Jeremiah 17:7-8

This article was originally featured in Destiny Magazine, 2020 Fall/Winter Edition. 

Danny and Calley Reed live in Vidalia, Louisiana and have pastored Cornerstone Church since 2009. Most recently, their church expanded and relocated to a new campus in Natchez, Mississippi. This year, they pioneered opening a faith-based Montessori school in the Miss-Lou. They have nine children together through birth and adoption. They are passionate about encouraging others to pursue Jesus in every season of life and to persevere in trial.