After some life changing setbacks and multiple failures in life I knew something had to change. Our home was about to go into foreclosure, and we were struggling to get by but I was determined to wait upon the Lord to show us our direction. During this time, I received a vision with a plan for a general store & restaurant that would serve multiple purposes with a mission that would also give back to the community. After receiving this plan of inspiration, I began to pray on the location and where this was to begin.
I will never forget the morning that I woke up and told my wife (Cher) that I was going to Clifton, Tennessee. I thought it was for ministry purposes due to being led into prison ministry. So, I drove to Clifton that day and found the CCA prison now CoreCivic located in Clifton and walked in the front doors but as I entered it did not feel right at the time, so I turned around and left the facility. As I was returning home, I passed a business in Clifton that had a large sign on the front. This sign had a phone number on it that just so happened to match another number that we had been looking at on a piece of property just below the Pickwick Dam to possibly start the mission at the Outpost. Now I knew why I was led to travel to Clifton, Tennessee.
After contacting the business owner in Clifton, we set a time to meet at the owner's home to discuss his piece of property that was for sale just below the Pickwick Dam on the Tennessee River. On the day of the meeting and prior to entering his home I began to apply what I had learned during my setbacks in life by simply stopping for prayer before attempting to do something on my own. Upon entering his home there were two men in the room and one was fighting cancer and the other was a business partner from California. I introduced myself and said these vary words," My name is James Harrison, I only have seven dollars, but I do have a vision and faith." Paul (the property owner with cancer) then told me to write it down on paper and to come back to share it with him at a later date.
The day came for us to meet again and as we discussed the vision, we then began to negotiate the price. I knew financially what he had in the property due to some previous research and not to mention the state that it was in, but we were in no place to negotiate the price or terms due to simply being financially broke. But again, we may have been financially broke but we did have a vision and faith.
As we set there discussing the possible purchase I felt as if I was making a deal with the devil because he knew my position and took full advantage of it. I remember sitting there and saying to myself that it did not matter the price because if it is in the Lords will that money was not an object. It was offered to us with a lease purchase with the first three months at no charge before the monthly payments were to begin. Under normal circumstances this would have been no deal because I could see through his intentions. He made it sound good but what did he have to lose? Here was someone willing to come in and improve the property and if it was to fail then he would just have it back in better shape than it was before.