LAURINBURG — After years of nurturing soybeans and other crops, a field across the highway from Scotland High School will soon be the site of another kind of harvest.
More than 50 people gathered at the 25-acre Wilkinson Drive property on Sunday to break ground on the CrossPointe Church building project. The property was purchased 14 years ago by the congregation of East Laurinburg Pentecostal Holiness Church, which will undergo a reinvention along with the move.
“We’re here this morning because the people of East Laurinburg PH Church had a vision, and that vision was building here for the glory of God,” said CrossPointe board member Richard Bunyard, alluding to Proverbs 29:18.
“God’s purpose concerning man is to seek and save that which is lost, to be worshipped by man, and to build a body of believers in the image of His own son. That is also our vision today.”
Attendees at the groundbreaking included church members, who number around 70, local officials, and representatives of the South Carolina Conference of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. Assistant bishop the Rev. Dean Morgan sampled from a modern translation of Isaiah in giving advice to the CrossPointe congregation.
“Clear lots of ground for your tents … make your tents large, spread out, think big,” Morgan read. “Use plenty of rope, drive the tent pegs deep, you’re going to need lots of elbow room for your growing family. This family is getting ready to expand.”
The church aims to complete the building project debt-free, aided by years of savings, private grants, and the sale of its East Laurinburg church building.
“We want to build debt-free, but we’re not there yet, so if you want to donate, we’ll take it,” said CrossPointe pastor the Rev. Michael Edds.
The new church will include a multi-use sanctuary, classrooms, and meeting rooms as well as a large kitchen. For the grounds, possibilities include a walking trail, soccer field, and baseball field. Construction is expected to begin this month and take six to nine months to complete.
Both Laurinburg Mayor Tommy Parker and mayor-elect Matthew Block offered their congratulations and best wishes for the new church. The Rev. Faye Coates opened Sunday’s groundbreaking with the shofar, an ancient instrument used to announce holidays and special occasions, and church member Bonnie Pressley sang “Holy Spirit, You Are Welcome Here.”
State Sen. Tom McInnis was also on hand with a vote of confidence that the church’s new location and rejuvenation in its mission will allow it to help correct Scotland County’s litany of disheartening unemployment, crime, and illiteracy statistics.
“A wise man said that evil prospers when good men do nothing, and so many people have wanted to write off Laurinburg and Scotland County, the 99th poorest county in North Carolina,” McInnis said. “These are issues that have to come off of our resume, and this is how we do it.”
Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-506-3169.