Summer storms in Florida can wreak havoc on computers, phone systems, air conditioning systems — you name it.
It was August 2014 when it happened at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Largo.
An electrical storm took out not only the church’s soundboard in the sanctuary, two computers, and six key lamps in the lighting system but also its antiquated phone system.
“Our phone system was so old that finding replacement parts was almost impossible,” recalls Arch Johnston, Executive Director of Church Administration. “We’d already replaced our motherboard — twice — and we’d exhausted all parts suppliers east of the Mississippi. We knew that repairing our old system would probably cost as much as a new system, and our budget simply couldn’t handle it.”
Arch contacted Brian Whittington at Ideal Solutions Provider, LLC, for vendor information.
Brian understood how devastating the loss of its phone system was to the church, and offered to do what he could to get St. Paul’s telecommunications system back up and running.
Brian is a vendor “broker,” working with a wide range of telecom providers and suppliers.
“You like to do good whenever you can,” he points out, “and I knew that I could find a way to get Arch a system that would serve the church well for years to come.”
“That’s exactly what he did,” says Arch. “He offered to design a completely new — not refurbished — system, at cost, with all the features we needed. Then, to help keep the costs as low as possible, he came out and joined in the installation himself, donating his time for us.
“That was amazing enough,” says Arch, “but Brian also set us up with a temporary system that gave us four phone lines: one for our main operator, one for our district office which is housed here, one for our pre-school, and one for the pastor’s secretary. We were fully operational within a week.”
Then, Brian went above and beyond Arch’s hopes: within a week of Brian finding the new equipment for St. Paul’s, the equipment was ordered, delivered, and installed.
“I am very, very thankful for this man,” Arch says emphatically. “He really cares about helping people, and he went well beyond my expectations to get us past that disastrous storm.
“At a time when we were hit so hard, Brian and Ideal Solutions Provider were, literally, the answer to our prayers.”