Lois Caughlan had hit rock bottom.
Divorced after 34 years of marriage, she moved to Brainerd to start a new life. Instead she found herself lonely and bored.
She researched local churches to find an adult singles program to help her meet people and make friends. Unable to find what she was looking for, Caughlan took matters into her own hands.
"God put a desire on my heart to start a singles ministry," Caughlan said.
She started attending Heritage Assembly of God in Baxter, a church she says has a large number of singles and eventually brought the singles ministry idea up to pastoral staff. The idea immediately gained their support and Kingdom Singles had begun.
In January the first potluck was held and 45 singles, ranging in ages from 20s to 70-somethings, attended.
Attendance has since dwindled to eight to 10 people at each event, but Caughlan isn't discouraged.
"It's all in God's timing," she said.
Kingdom Singles arranges two events each month, the group usually goes out for dinner, chats around a bonfire or does another fellowship-type activity. Caughlan said one of the group's goals is to be service-oriented, so when a group member needed help moving and another wanted to clean her gutters, there was no shortage of volunteers.
"We try to help one another when they have a need," Caughlan said. "It's one more way we can support one another in our walk with the Lord."
Caughlan said she's grown spiritually since the group started meeting and her new friends helped her get through the worst time in her life.
"I feel God has taken the pain, hurt and chaos and used it for something profitable," she said. "I'm (now) able to share with others and I'd never had that courage before."
While Kingdom Singles isn't a dating or match-making service, Caughlan said one couple met at the group's initial potluck in January and are now engaged to be married.
"(I support) whatever God has in store for this ministry, whether two people find each other and fall in love or quality friendships form," Caughlan said.
All single adults are welcome to join Kingdom Singles, Caughlan said it's not limited to Heritage members. The next event is a family potluck picnic at 12:30 p.m., July 29 at Lum Park. For more information, call Caughlan at 828-6521 or visit www.kingdomsingles.org.
HEIDI LAKE may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5879.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.