Like detectives, surveyors piece together clues to solve a mystery. Property owners rely on their precision to establish and verify boundaries. Patrick Kelley and his son, John, utilize decades of experience to measure lines.
“I’ve been surveying since 1971,” Kelley said. His knowledge of regional history helps him “prove” (or verify) corners often hidden by years of soil movement.
“About the deepest hole I had to dig was seven feet,” he said. “I was looking for a witness tree drawn on a survey from the 1840s showing a pine. Had to go down that far to find the old stump.”
While the industry changes with Global Positioning Satellite equipment to help locate corners and digital drafting for surveys, some things haven’t altered. Work in the field demands physical labor in all weather. Perseverance is required.
“The biggest thing about leadership and success is total honesty,” Kelley added. “Transparency goes along with that.”
His son is a vital partner in the business. “Your word is the biggest thing,” John added. “If you say you’ll do something, then that is going to happen.”
The pair works well together. They brave the elements and crunch numbers to locate inch-wide metal stakes spanning acres. Not only do surveyors master concepts of geometry and GPS equipment, but they also have mathematical understanding how to find intersections on maps where physical markers have been built over or obscured over time. Each calculation carries authority for financial ventures.
“A big part of surveying is following the footsteps of the original surveyor,” Pat said.
He applies that personally with his strong faith. A wooden cross stands in the window at the office, and a worn Bible on the front desk greets arrivals. Kelley’s team reads from it to solve dilemmas.
“One of us will set there and come up with a scripture,” Pat said. “Then we have an impromptu Bible study to try and sort it out.”
He believes a strong faith helps one locate the right position to take. He said they often pray, “OK, Lord, we need your help on this one.”
People find safety holding fast to godly principles that have stood the test of time. Measuring our steps with God’s guidance locates our hearts in the right place.
Today’s Bible verse:
“Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your ancestors” (Proverbs 22:28 NIV).
Dear Lord, please guide us to the proper place to serve you. Steer us clear of what belongs to others. Amen.