Church receives winning lottery ticket

August 29, 2008 1:23:03 PM PDT
An incredible display of generosity on Long Island. A parishioner with a winning $3 million lottery ticket donated it to the church anonymously.In three short years, the True North community church in Port Jefferson swelled to 650 members and outgrew their small space.

They shuffle church members in and out of four Sunday services each week.

So two weeks ago, Pastor Bert Crabbe decided the congregation had to rent a bigger space unless they got a miracle.

"I was joking I said unless God drops a couple of million that's what we're going to do," he said.

Those words became realty.

A church member plopped down a winning $3 million scratch off ticket on his desk.

The only condition was not to tell anyone who he is.

"It's so cool that they don't want recognition. They don't want anybody to know who they are. I think it makes it even more exciting," said Melissa Joles.

Charity work is very important to the church. The first $150,000 the church collects from the lottery instead of keeping it and growing their own church members will pass on to other charity.'

The non-denominational Christian church will collect $150,000 for the next 20 years.

They're thinking of buying property and building a bigger church.

"I love when God does things that only he can take credit for. I believe that that's what God's been doing for us as a church," said Associate Pastor Mike Brennan.

Pastor Crabbe hopes this incredible generosity will speak to others.

STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Carolina Leid

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