ROCKINGHAM — Mount Sinai Baptist Church, currently located in the old Winn-Dixie shopping center, will be changing addresses soon.
The church plans to break ground on the its new building, which will be located on Graham Bridge Road off of Ledbetter Road on the outskirts of Rockingham, at 10 a.m Saturday.
Pastor Donnie Bennett said Mount Sinai celebrated its seventh anniversary on the first Sunday of June this year.
“We started with 85 people and seven years later, we’re pushing a little over 250,” said Bennett.
A growing church population is one reason for the move, but Bennett said Mount Sinai had been leasing the building it’s currently in. He said parishioners are ready to move into their own church.
The size of Mount Sinai’s current building is not a problem, but Bennett sees the move as a way to expand the ministry.
“The building is large, so we haven’t outgrown the place, but what we have seen is the need for ministry has outgrown the place,” said Bennett. “We have about 21 ministries within the church. We’re in need of more classrooms for teaching and an outdoor area for activities without cars flying by. The need from the ministry has grown.”
Bennett hopes for construction to begin in the later part of the year, most likely in September, but an actual date has not been confirmed. He also hopes to be moved into the new facility by early spring of next year.
“We’re doing two phases,” he said. “The first phase is a multipurpose building with classrooms, a conference room, pastor study, restrooms and gymnasium. The gym will be the sanctuary in the first phase, then we’ll transfer to the new sanctuary in phase two. The ultimate goal is to sit at least 500.”
An undertaking of this sort requires fundraising, which Mount Sinai is still doing, and money doesn’t grow on trees. What is growing on a tree is the list of people who have donated to the cause. This big family tree, Bennett said, is called the Growing Tree and it’s located in the vestibule to allow everyone to see who has contributed to the new project.
“I just want to continue to thank Richmond County in the support that we’ve received as a ministry,” said Bennett. “In this walk of life there are so many challenges, but as the journey continues, we want to just stay focused in building the kingdom. The vision is still clear, and the journey has begun.”
Reach reporter Matt Harrelson at 910-997-3111, ext. 18.