Seven Springs celebrates move to higher ground
March 21 2002 by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor

Seven Springs celebrates move to higher ground | Friday, March 22, 2002

Friday, March 22, 2002

Seven Springs celebrates move to higher ground

By Tony W. Cartledge BR Editor

SEVEN SPRINGS - Seven Springs Baptist Church dedicated its new facility on March 10 with more than 250 celebrants gathering for a special service, luncheon and open house.

The previous facility sat near the banks of the Neuse River in the village of Seven Springs. It was flooded in 1996 by Hurricane Fran, and in 1999 by Hurricane Floyd. N.C. Baptist Men assisted with repairs on the church and its parsonage, which was also flooded.

The church later voted to relocate and build a new facility just more than a mile east of the village on three acres of land donated by church members Hilda Gibbs, Eleanor Gibbs, and the heirs of Donald Gibbs. During construction, a strong windstorm blew down the walls of the unfinished sanctuary.

The new site is 175 feet higher in elevation than the previous site, and the new facility is considerably larger than the old one. The sanctuary seats 250, and incorporates stained glass windows from the previous building, along with two new ones. The fellowship hall can seat about 150 for meals. The facility also includes 10 Sunday School rooms and a prayer room.

More than $200,000 of the $900,000 construction cost was donated by churches and individuals from North Carolina and other states. The church still owes about $450,000 on the new building.

Pastor Ashley Summerlin, who will celebrate his 10th anniversary as pastor in June, said the church has experienced growth despite its struggles, and the new building is a sign to the community of God's love in action. "It wouldn't be here if we didn't love one another and if others didn't love us enough to help us get started," he said.

Summerlin expressed special appreciation to builder W. Roy Poole, who "removed all the obstacles so we could get this done."

The church's experience as a recipient of others' care has led it to become active in hands-on missions, Summerlin said. Church mission teams have traveled to West Virginia, Oklahoma, Alaska, Honduras and El Salvador.

"We've got to do it," Summerlin said. "God's been too good to us for us not to reach out and help someone else."

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3/21/2002 11:00:00 PM by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor | with 0 comments
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