The car was the perfect gift for Burns (Source: WALB)
The church plans to give out cars every year (Source: WALB)
BACONTON, GA (WALB) -
A Baconton Church gave one of its members a surprise of a lifetime Sunday afternoon. The gift turned out to be a car.
The congregation waited on edge as the pastor slowly revealed who would get a new car.
When the name was announced, Walter Burns was in disbelief.
Walter Burns says it was a complete shock.
St. James Missionary Baptist church gave him something he really needed, a car.
"I didn't know this was going to happen. I had heard it was going to come one day, but I didn't know today it was going to happen. I just look up and say thank you Jesus for what you've done. He gave me a turn around," said Burns.
Burns says his life is taking a new direction. In the last week alone, he's gotten a new place to live and a way to get around.
"I don't have to walk in the cold no more, I don't have to walk in the rain no more. I don't have to sleep in the salvation army. I don't have to sleep in a board house no more," said Burns.
Burns says the Acura RL will also help him attend more church activities.
Pastor Lawrence Knighton helps choose who gets the three to four cars the church gives to members each year.
Knighton says Burns was a perfect fit.
"He actually works for the construction company that built the building. The family life building that's in the back of our church and he is always here for bible study on Tuesdays," said Knighton.
The church has given about 14 vehicles to those in need over the past several years.
Knighton says the gift gives Burns more than just a new sense of independence.
"Once they get over the initial shock, and really believe that is real, it also helps to show people that god still works miracles," said Knighton.
Knighton says it was the first car the church had given out for the year. He plans to gift several more.