CCP Officer Training & A New Building Opportunity
As we enter our sixth year as a church, my heart is brimming with joy and gratitude. I love our church family. I have recently sensed in our congregation a strengthening of sincere piety, a deepening of Christ-centered friendships, and a growing love for our lost neighbors. Nothing brings me more delight than to see our flock growing in grace, and fostering a heart for biblical truth and mission (c.f. 3 John 4). God is doing something special at Christ Church, and I’m profoundly thankful that my family and I are a part of this wonderful congregation.
There are two encouraging things, in particular, that I would like to share with you; that is, two things that have the extraordinary potential of bolstering the ministry and impact of Christ Church in the future. The first thing is related to officer training, and the second to the best opportunity yet for Christ Church to have a permanent home.
CCP Officer Training
One of the most challenging aspects of planting a new church (in addition to finding a permanent building!) is identifying gifted, qualified, and devoted men to serve in leadership. With few exceptions, recognizing the patterns and commitments of people’s lives takes time— think years, not months.
As you know, we received officer nominations from the congregation a couple of weeks ago. The session approved the nominations of eight men to go through the five month process of training and examination. During this time each candidate, along with the session, will seek to discern whether they should be recommended to the congregation for ordination. The congregation will vote on recommended candidates in May. Please pray for elder candidates Tobe Hester, Mike Royal, and Brian Brindis de Salas. And remember to pray for deacon candidates Whit Jacobs, Matt Cope, Ralph Charles, Jake Earle, and Rob Herron.
We began our training on Monday evening, and had a very rich time of biblical instruction and fellowship. It was a privilege and a blessing to spend time with these godly men. One highlight from our evening was reflecting upon four vital characteristics of biblical leadership— humility, integrity, purity, and piety. May the Lord, by His Spirit, strengthen these characteristics in all of us, especially in the leaders and future leaders of Christ Church.
Building Search | 486 Wando Park Blvd., Mt. Pleasant
We’ve had many discouragements over the years in our search for a permanent home for Christ Church. You’ve felt these discouragements as I have. In recent months it’s been especially hard due to the middle school limiting our space needs. Moreover, each week new problems arise with the building— locked classrooms, odd noises from the kitchen, construction zones, unannounced polyurethane treatments, etc. But as I shared recently in a sermon from Hebrews 11:29, it is often the case that God puts his people between Pharaoh’s Army and the Red Sea before He provides a path to blessing.
The good news is that the Lord may be answering our prayers, and leading us to our future church home! It’s the best possibility we’ve seen thus far. While scrolling through Charleston commercial real estate sites a few weeks ago, I came across an interesting property for sale — 486 Wando Park Blvd., Mt. Pleasant.
The location is fantastic. Not only is it within the area approved by our presbytery, it is less than a mile from the I-526 / Longpoint Rd. exit. This central location will be convenient for current members and visitors who live in various parts of the greater Charleston area. The 21,200 sq. ft. building rests on 2.02 acres. There are between 35-40 parking spaces on the property, with potential for parking on Sunday mornings in the two adjacent properties which do not appear to have Sunday morning activity. 12,000 sq. ft. of the space is a well-maintained warehouse which could very easily be sub-leased in the short-term, and developed for Christ Church in the future. The 9,000 sq. ft. of finished space is presently divided into what was formerly an interior design showroom, with some large rooms and offices in the back. With the removal of one wall and a small glass partitioned office, we could turn the main room into a beautiful 4600 sq. ft. sanctuary accommodating close to 400 worshipers. In the remaining space we could outfit two large nurseries, fellowship area, offices, new bathrooms, and classrooms.
The selling price is $3.4 million, a more attainable figure than most properties in our area. We do not currently have a renovation estimate, though it is unlikely to exceed $250,000 since all the interior walls are non load-bearing.
The elders have visited the property several times, and have met with architects to get counsel and receive initial drawings of how the space could be organized (see renderings below). Pastor Ross and Andrew Godwin (deacon) have met with TD Bank for wisdom and direction regarding a potential loan (though we hope that a loan will not be necessary after our fundraising effort!). And we are currently working with our real estate agent, Eddie Buxton. We hope the seller will agree to our letter of intent, a non-binding document that demonstrates to the seller that we are interested in the facility, and that we desire to enter a 60-90 day contract / due diligence period.
As we’ve explained in previous congregational meetings related to the purchase of property, the PCA Book of Church Order 25-7 states that the congregation must vote on the purchasing of church property. If an agreement is made with the seller to enter a non-binding contract / due diligence period, which will, of course, require earnest money, the session will call a congregational meeting for the purpose of voting on whether or not to move forward with a non-binding contract phase. There would, of course, be a second vote after the due diligence period, before a final purchase.
It is likely that you will possess a mixture of excitement and questions about the possibility of this location potentially being our future church home. Hopefully we will be able to enter into a due diligence period, get our questions answered, and explore whether or not this is the location for us. During that due diligence period (if we get to that stage), we will schedule a couple of open houses for you to see the building for yourself. Until then, feel free to drive by and have a look. You can even see the meeting space through the windows at the front of the property.
For now, I want to encourage you to pray. Bring this opportunity before the throne of grace. Go before the Lord and ask for wisdom, discernment, and resources as we consider this location for a potential church home. Moreover, pray about what you might give to help Christ Church secure a permanent church home— a church home from which to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ and make disciples for many many years to come.
These are exciting times for Christ Church Presbyterian! And if ever there was a time for the members of Christ Church to be all in, it’s now! May Christ be our joy as together we foster unity, grow in grace, and make disciples.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Your Pastor, Servant, & Friend,