LAURINBURG —People passing by the structure going up in a field off U.S. 401 might wonder if it is a new business or correctly guess that it is a church.
But when the Rev. Michael Edds and his congregation from East Laurinburg Pentecostal Holiness Church look at the mostly metal and wood shell, they see a place that will serve the community.
The new house of worship, Cross Point Church, will host a Capital Campaign Dinner next week to help with that mission — to create a community life center that offers programs for young people during the week and church services on Sundays.
Cross Point Church will sit on 24 acres across from Scotland High School and it is for those students, as well as young people from across the city that parishioners are building the 14,000-square foot facility with an indoor gymnasium that includes a basketball court.
“The church could have voted to build a beautiful new sanctuary, but they decided to go with the first phase as a multi-purpose building,” Edds said. “We have over 9,000 young people in this county and there’s no community center here in Laurinburg.”
Expected to be completed by September, the church will also include offices, two large meeting rooms, a second floor and a kitchen.The gymnasium will double as a sanctuary for the time being. The church broke ground in January.
Edds said a designated sanctuary will come later, but for now, the priority is a community center that will offer recreation, job skills training, mentoring, adult basic education, tutoring, character development programs, after school programs, and counseling. The church is also partnering with a local food bank and clothing center for families in need.
Edds, who also serves as chaplain for the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office, said the center could also help reduce problems like gangs, which are due in part to the absence of strong family units. Where there is a gap in family and community connections, gang members will try to fill the void, he said, offering identity, purpose and a sense of family.
“They are giving them a place to belong and something to do, but it’s not good,” Edds said. “We are losing the lives and souls of our young people.”
Edds said the project has a price tag of approximately $1.25 million and so far, the church has raised a little more than $1.1 million. About half of that money came from the sale of the church property on Sanford Road. Another $85,000 came from four grants, he said. The remainder has been raised through donations and fund raisers, including a lot of sales from fish fries and collard sandwiches, he said.
The 60-member congregation want to finish the building debt free.
The Capital Campaign Dinner, that will include chicken bog, is planned for Monday at 6 p.m. at the church’s current fellowship hall at 301 Sanford Road. Special guests include state Sen.Tom McInnis and former U.S Rep. Robin Hayes,
There is no charge for admission, but those who attend will be asked to pledge a donation.
Those planning to attend, should call Edds at 910-544-9117 or 901-506-2197.
Reach Terri Ferguson Smith at 910-505-3169