A dream that has been in the works for the better part of a decade has finally been realized for a local Presbyterian congregation.
Faith Presbyterian Church met in the Indian Land Recreation Center for the past 10 years. Now the 122 members have a brand-new building to call their own at 7520 Charlotte Highway at the intersection of U.S. 521 and Van Wyck Road.
The land is steeped in history for the Presbyterian Church as the site of historic Six Mile Creek Presbyterian Church, which was built there in the 1830s. The former Six Mile church building and adjacent cemetery are also now under the care of Faith. The land was given to the congregation by the Providence Presbytery back in 2007, so when it came time to put down roots, Faith had a huge financial advantage over other churches that are just starting out. The land has always been paid for.
“I like to think of Providence Presbytery as our mother church, and Six Mile Creek is our grandmother church,” said Faith pastor The Rev. David Bender.
The new building includes a sanctuary room that can seat up to 260 people along with a large gathering hall, kitchen and classroom.
The congregation spoke with an architect and contractor about the project eight years ago, but it’s only just now been able to bring the plans to fruition. It’s the end of Phase I in what has already been a very long process, Rev. Bender said.
“We got excited about it again and heard that call again and finances were in a better situation for the church so we were able to form a committee and get it going,” he said.
The official ground breaking was in May 2016. The official dedication is scheduled for Oct. 1 at 10 a.m. In between those landmark events was a lot of time, patience and people working together to help out.
“Through God’s grace we as a group learned how to do things that none of the individuals could have,” Rev. Bender said.
This was the very first building project for Rev. Bender. He said it really was the effort of the entire congregation.
“We didn’t know a lot about landscape, we didn’t know a lot about (U.S,) 521 overlay corridor, but we had people who were able to step up and learn,” he said.
Though the official dedication is still weeks away, the congregation is already meeting at the new building. Rev. Bender said he already has in mind what he would like to see next for the next phase of construction.
“We have a door on the outside that will eventually open up to a fellowship hall and more classroom space in the time to come,” he said.
Katie Rutland: firstname.lastname@example.org