A congregation in South Carolina that had a church building constructed in a single day held their first worship service at the new facility.
The Christ Family Center, located in the small town of Denmark, had about 300 volunteers build a new worship space last week over the course of a day. They held their first service on Sunday.
The project was overseen by the "Church in a Day" ministry of the United Pentecostal Church International's North American Missions Division.
Pastor Terry Long, director of the ministry, told The Christian Post in an interview on Tuesday that the Christ Family Center was the 138<sup>th such project since the ministry began in the 1980s. According to Long, at least five projects are planned for next year.
Long told CP that each CIAD project is "an incredibly structured and well-coordinated effort" that admittedly usually takes between 26 and 30 hours rather than an exact 24-hour day.
"The pastor and local congregation are responsible to purchase the property," Long explained. "The UPCI researches building code and zoning requirements in the municipality. The concrete pad has to be poured in advance. A small number of worker from key trades show up a few days early to plan and get some preliminary steps done."
"A large number of volunteers show up and begin work on a Friday at 7 a.m. By Saturday around noon, we hand the keys to the pastor. At that time the building is completely finished including external landscaping, A/C and heating, internal décor, and a public address system."
There are two project types associated with the ministry's program. One, called National Projects, involves the UPCI-owned Church Loan Fund giving low-interest financing to the local congregation using funds raised by donors with the UPCI offering planning, supervision, and coordination.
The other, called District Projects, involve the regional leaders and congregation having more participation in the project planning stages, with them raising their own financing; however, the UPCI still oversees the construction.
Long noted that Christ Family Center was a "district project," with the UPCI providing "the strategic planning, the blueprints, the material lists, and the coordination of all 22 trades that were involved in the construction project."
"The local congregation in Denmark bought the property around three years ago. Since that time they have gathered to make crafts a couple of nights each week and each weekend they have traveled to craft fairs in South Carolina and surrounding states," said Long.
"Through these fundraising efforts, they raised nearly the entire project budget of $235,000. They only had to finance an additional $50,000."
Pastor Robert Snipes, head of the Denmark church, told local media outlet WJBF News Channel 6 that the finished building was "a dream come true."
"We want the community to know that we're here for them and we're here to serve them and do anything we can to support them and to make sure God is their God," said Snipes.