Mt. Sinai Baptist takes ‘first step’ towards future

 

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Pastor D.R. Bennett and his wife, the Rev. Pat Bennett, fill their shovel with the first bit of earth moved for the new church.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Pastor D.R. Bennett and his wife, the Rev. Pat Bennett, fill their shovel with the first bit of earth moved for the new church.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Led by a tambourine, the Mt. Sinai Baptist Church Choir performed Saturday at the ground-breaking ceremony on Graham Bridge Road.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Led by a tambourine, the Mt. Sinai Baptist Church Choir performed Saturday at the ground-breaking ceremony on Graham Bridge Road.

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

LEDBETTER — Mt. Sinai Baptist Church is going country.

Some 80 members, worshippers and friends of the congregation that currently meets in the former Winn-Dixie building off Highway Business 74 in Rockingham gathered Saturday morning for the groundbreaking of the planned multipurpose building on 16.23 acres of church-owned property.

The property is located on Graham Bridge Road, off of Ledbetter Road south of what used to be Ledbetter Lake. There’s plenty of road frontage, and church officials plan to take down many of the trees and envision the church sanctuary, gymnasium, school, daycare and summer camp facilities. Church members envision the facilities will not alter the idyllic countryside but fit within it.

Instead of cars whizzing by during every waking hour at 50 mph, trees and wildlife will surround what comes next for Mt. Sinai Baptist Church and its membership, which has grown from nearly 80 in 2007 to about 280 today.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Pastor D.R. Bennett, of Mt. Sinai Baptist Church

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Pastor D.R. Bennett, of Mt. Sinai Baptist Church

But on Saturday, all the hub bub was about moving the first shovel-full of dirt. The 40-minute ceremony included prayer and performances by more than a dozen members of the church choir. In true Baptist style, members and guests couldn’t help but join in song.

“Today is an awesome day forward,” said Pastor D.R. Bennett of a vision that began 13 years ago, with the fundraising starting seven years ago. The property was purchased in 2009 and paid off last year.

Bennett said it was difficult to imagine seven years ago that the church would be “where we are today.”

Fellow church officials agreed that it was with a blind faith they moved forward.

“We’ve come a long way,” said Brother James Neil Haygood. “We’ve got a ways to go. We need everybody’s full support.”

Deacon Thomas Ford said “it was hard for me to see us here today. Everybody, you looking the mirror, you see what makes Mt. Sinai Mt. Sinai. This is our rock.”

Deacon Curtis Hargrove called the ground-breaking “a big jump” forward for the church.

The first phase of construction, set to begin later this year by Hawks Builders, of Rockingham, and be completed in Spring 2015, will feature a multipurpose building with classrooms, a gymnasium that will temporarily be used as a sanctuary, a bookstore, conference rooms and a pastor’s study, Bennett said. The second phase of construction will feature the building of a new sanctuary that will seat up to 500 people — far outclassing the former grocery store building in Rockingham.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Rev. Pat Bennett

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Rev. Pat Bennett

Bennett also said the church’s summer camp program could expand and one day the property could include the church’s school and daycare center.

Bennett declined to disclose the purchase price of the property. Richmond County government offices were closed on Saturday so property records could not be researched.

The pastor said he’s right to expect the church to continue to grow, as it doesn’t offer “church as usual.”

“Most people feel you got to have a suit to come to church,” Bennett said of the official come-as-you-are approach. “We don’t mind blue jeans.”

Filed in: Featured News, Latest Headlines, News

You might like:

GAP program fills a hole for ‘hands-on’ experience GAP program fills a hole for ‘hands-on’ experience
Sit back for an ‘interesting story’ Sit back for an ‘interesting story’
Cash available for crime-solving tips Cash available for crime-solving tips
Rotruck sues Town of Summerfield Rotruck sues Town of Summerfield
© 2018 The Pee Dee Post. All rights reserved. XHTML / CSS Valid.