Building up and reaching out at St. Helena's Faith Memorial Baptist Church

147875 articles in the archive and more added every day

Building up and reaching out at St. Helena's Faith Memorial Baptist Church

By CATHY CARTER HARLEY charley@beaufortgazette.com 843-706-8248
Published Saturday, December 5, 2009   |  336 Words  |  lifestyle

The Rev. Dr. Horace Williams Jr. has carried the torch first lit in 1955 by the founders of Faith Memorial Baptist Church on St. Helena Island.
The original 2,010-square-foot building has now expanded to more than five times its original size at almost 11,000 square feet.
The former sanctuary held seats for 270, but now more than 440 people can fit comfortably among the shiny new pews that are situated on red plush carpets.
In addition to the added space, new technology will help parishioners with hearing, eyesight or language barriers, as well as those who might be working with children in the nursery or in the kitchen's fellowship hall, enjoy the service. Hymns and Scriptures in English and Spanish can be viewed on multiple screens throughout the sanctuary as well as in the fellowship hall, Sunday School classrooms and the children's nursery.
Williams, who was the first controller at Public Broadcasting Service Beaufort WJWJ and helped set up the station in the 1970s, also can run the church's new high-tech recording studio.
The studio can record digital videos and CDs of various services for those who are sick or otherwise homebound.
Recordings also can be made of special services, such as a loved one's funeral or a special musical performance.
This isn't the first time the church has expanded. The second largest addition was made to the church in 1970. In 1999, the church added the more than 2,400-square-foot fellowship hall, which had been converted into a makeshift sanctuary since this latest expansion project began in June.
"Now 10 years (after the fellowship hall was built) we have added 3,000 more square feet," said Williams, who served as project manager of the new construction and remodeling.
The church offers more than just spiritual guidance. Students can receive help at the church's tutoring program that begins in January and continues throughout the summer.
The church also offers financial counseling and a helping hand to parishioners who are faced with losing their homes.